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A Brief Oral History

The Democrats on Israel

by ADRIANA KOJEVE

"Israel continues to show admirable restraint in dealing with her hostile neighbors, even in the face of increasing rocket attacks, kidnappings, and threats to her people.  I support her actions in defense of her people, and I pray for a swift and just conclusion to the fighting."

– Jerrold Nadler, DEMOCRAT, July 13, 2006.

"There are no quick solutions for the difficulties we face today, but we know that we have to stand with democracies and free peoples against the threat of nihilism and extremism. That is why we stand with Israel because it is a beacon of democracy in the region; that is why we stand with Israel because its very existence is a defiant affront to anti-Semitism; that is why we stand with Israel because in defeating terror because Israel’s cause is our cause. And that is why we stand with Israel because of our shared values and our shared belief in the dignity of men and women and the right to live without fear or oppression."

– Hillary Clinton, DEMOCRAT, February 1, 2007.

"Those who threaten Israel threaten us; Israel has always faced these threats on the frontlines and I will bring to the White House an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. That starts with insuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage. I will insure that Israel can defend itself from any threat from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation, defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success and it must be deepened. As President I will implement a memorandum of understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade, investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation."

– Barack Obama, DEMOCRAT, June 4, 2008.

"Israel has taken actions to defend itself and its people in an effort to restore security in the region. It is in everyone’s interest, particularly the innocent lives at risk on both sides of the border, that Hamas bring an end to its aggression, recognize its neighbor’s right to exist, and work toward mutual peace and security"

– Benjamin Cardin, DEMOCRAT, December 29, 2008.

“Israel, like every other nation, has a right to defend itself; I find it naive and unrealistic that some say Israel should ‘sit down and talk’ to Hamas, a group sworn to Israel’s annihilation, that broke the recent ceasefire by flinging missiles at Israeli cities. The Palestinian people must realize that Israel is here to stay and that no amount of violence, which Hamas seeks to undertake, will change that fact.”

– Charles Schumer, DEMOCRAT, December 30, 2008.

“Over the past few days, I have closely monitored the current escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza. I hope and pray for a peaceful solution for both sides and I strongly condemn Hamas for breaking the current ceasefire. I believe the Israeli people, under constant attack from the Palestinian territories, have a right to protect themselves and I stand with them as they fight to defend the basic rights of humanity.

I traveled to Israel in 2007 and I discovered firsthand what I had always known to be true – Israel is an extraordinary democracy blessed with very courageous citizens who refuse to live their lives in fear. New Yorkers have experienced the horror of terrorism; we must not and will not let senseless acts of terror undermine our commitment and resolve to fight for democratic principles both at home and around the world.”

– David Patterson, DEMOCRAT, December 31, 2008.

"Israel has commendably made strenuous efforts to minimize harm to civilians, while Hamas has needlessly imperiled innocent Palestinians in Gaza by conducting its military operations from within heavily populated civilian areas. I support the efforts of Israel and others to improve access to humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Along with my colleagues, I hope for a quick resolution to this crisis and for a future without rockets falling on Isra."

– Jerrold Nadler, DEMOCRAT, January 9, 2009.

ADRIANA KOJEVE is a music and cultural critic living in New York City. She can reached akojeve@gmail.com.