Arab Americans Question Kerry's Stance on Middle East Conflict

July 24, 2004

Source: The Daily Star

On July 24, 2004 The Daily Star reported, "Although the appeal of Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry has been eroded by some of his Middle East policies, his campaign is continuing to receive substantial support in the Arab-American community. Concern about these policies is even being echoed by senior Arab-American Democratic Party activists who have delayed the official introduction of an 'Arab-Americans for Kerry' organization in hopes of gaining clarification on the candidate's policies toward Israel and the Palestinians... Particularly damaging were talking points attributed to Kerry's adviser for Jewish affairs, Jay Footlik, which took an extremely pro-Israel stance somewhat at odds with Kerry's previously stated positions. Several of the Arab-American Democrats who attended the meeting have reportedly sent a letter to the Kerry-Edwards campaign stressing the importance of the Arab-American vote in key swing states and expressing concern about the positions outlined in the talking points. According to several people familiar with the process, about half of those involved in the meeting with the Kerry campaign declined to sign the letter because they did not feel it contained sufficiently forceful objections to the talking points and other policy statements, and seemed to pledge support for Kerry regardless of his positions."