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by The Arab American Institute
Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2003 at 10:38 AM
Dean told TruthOut.org in May 2003 that the United States needs "a new oil policy... because our oil money is being used to fund terrorism in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria."
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The Arab American Institute's
Guide to the 2004 Democratic Party Primary Candidates
HOWARD DEAN, Former Vermont Governor
Israel and Palestine
On his website, Dean has said he "is committed to achieving a negotiated, comprehensive, and just peace between Palestinians and Israelis and remains optimistic about the chances for peace," and believes in the "full engagement of the United States at the highest level" in the peace process.
Dean has been very critical of the Bush Administration for a lack of engagement on the issue before the introduction of the Road Map to Peace. Dean supports a two-state solution, "a Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent, demilitarized Palestinian state." But, he cautions, "to get there, the Palestinian Authority will have to fight terrorism and violence on a consistent basis to create the conditions necessary for a viable peace process. The Israeli government will have to work to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people and ultimately will have to remove a number of existing settlements." Dean has also called for reform of the Palestinian Authority, and has been critical of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, stating in December 2002, "I do not think that as long as Yasser Arafat is president there will be peace."
Dean has stated that "through it all, the United States will maintain its historic special relationship with the state of Israel." In November 2002, Dean attended an event hosted by Americans for Peace Now (APN), a pro-peace Jewish group. When asked if his appearance at this event signaled a preference for APN's views on the conflict, Dean stated "No, my view is closer to AIPAC's (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) view... At one time the Peace Now view was important but now Israel is under enormous pressure. We have to stop terrorism before peace negotiations."
More recently in September 2003 he stated that an "enormous number" of Israeli settlements would have to be removed in the peace process. He also stated that "it's not our [the United States'] place to take sides" in the conflict. In response to criticism from fellow Democratic candidates Joe Lieberman and John Kerry, Dean clarified his position, stating: "Israel has always been a longtime ally with a special relationship with the United States, but if we are going to bargain by being in the middle of the negotiations then we are going to have to take an evenhanded role."
Dean states that if elected he would "work to ensure that racial profiling ends" and would direct his Attorney General "to define racial profiling as discrimination, and to withhold federal funds from state and local law enforcement that violate those regulations." He would also "appoint an Attorney General who sees our Constitution not just as a document to be manipulated, ignored, and violated, but recognizes and respects it as the fabric that binds the American community together," and would "oppose expansion of the Patriot Act, efforts to remove sunset clauses included in the act, and will seek to repeal the portions of the Patriot Act that are unconstitutional." Dean has specifically questioned the treatment of Arabs and Muslims: "These abuses are wrong and must stop immediately. I am appalled by allegations... that Department of Justice employees have, among other things, beaten Muslim and Arab detainees. This should not happen in America…The rule of law and due process must continue to be the hallmarks of our judicial system. I urge Congress to reconsider aspects of the Patriot Act and other anti-terror tactics that lead to such abuses. The government must protect Americans against terrorism while protecting basic civil liberties every step of the way."
Dean states that as President he would "protect the civil rights of immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security." He also told the Manchester Union Leader on July 24, 2003 that the United States "ought not to be concerned about people who come to this country and work hard" and who do not get into trouble.
Howard Dean was an outspoken critic of the recent war in Iraq. He believes that while "Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly evil and needed to be disarmed, it did not present an immediate threat to U.S. security that would justify going to war, particularly going to war alone." He also believes that the United States’ dependence on Middle Eastern oil is detrimental to fighting terrorism. Dean told TruthOut.org in May 2003 that the United States needs "a new oil policy... because our oil money is being used to fund terrorism in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria." He also believes that the United States must take a much harder line on Iran and Saudi Arabia because they're funding terrorism," and that even though he believes that Syria sponsors terrorism, he does not believe the United States should invade.
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