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11/6/06

Congress will be filled with AIPAC Democrats: Rabbi Michael Lerner

 

TEHRAN, Nov. 5 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Mehr News Agency conducted a brief interview with Rabbi Michael Lerner on October 26.

 

Rabbi Lerner is the chief editor of Tikkun magazine and the national chairman of the anti-war organization the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Following are excerpts of the interview:

 

Mehr: The latest opinion polls show that the Democrats are likely to overturn the Republican majority in the U.S. Congress in the midterm election on November 7. How did this turnaround in the Democrats' fortunes come about?

 

Lerner: Please remember that the Democrats won the majority of votes in the 2000 election, and that Bush won only a few hundred thousand votes more than Kerry in the 2004 election among 80 million voters. So the change is not that wildly dramatic. But what has changed in the U.S. that is reflected in the current situation:

 

A. The anti-war movement in the U.S. succeeded in convincing a majority of Americans that the war in Iraq was a moral mistake.

 

The U.S. has been willing to lose many more than 3,000 dead to fight for something that Americans believe in, but not for something that they don't believe in. So as the tide of public opinion changed about the war, this dramatically lowered support for the Republicans.

   

B. The combination of Bush's irresponsible policies toward the environment, immigration, and poverty was important.

   

C. A huge disillusionment with Bush's championing of torture and reduction of human rights in the U.S.

   

D. A recognition that while the U.S. elites of wealth and power are doing great, the vast majority of Americans have experienced a decline in their real income and a decline in their buying power.

 

Mehr: What kind of U.S. public opinion backlash can we expect in reaction to the Republicans' policy failures?

       

Lerner: The backlash is happening in the election, but it won't be very large for one important reason: The Democrats have no alternative vision of what they would do in power. So that makes many people choose not to vote at all, rather than to vote and express anger at the Republicans.

 

Mehr: How will this affect the Bush administration's Middle East policy during the remainder of his term in office and the Republicans' prospects in the 2008 presidential election?

 

Lerner: Bush is unlikely to do anything dramatic to push Israel into ending the occupation of the West Bank or to creating a viable Palestinian state. There will be all kinds of statements that can be interpreted as distancing from Israel, but nothing in the way of real pressure. The Democratic Congress will be filled with AIPAC-influenced Democrats who want to protect Israel at all cost.

... Payvand News - 11/6/06 ... --



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