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Sam Farr's Open Record

Sam Farr says:
"I have an open record, and I'm very proud to stand by it."
Sam Farr says:
"I have an open record, and I'm very proud to stand by it."

On War

-Sam Farr will NOT support the call to "Bring The Troops Home Now!" [Oakland Tribune, 3/31/03] "I'm not ready to suggest that we should pull [the troops] out." On March 20, 2002 [Statement from Sam Farr], he says, "[M]y first concern is the safe return of all soldiers from abroad." -- What other action does he think would be more likely to guarantee their safe return?

- Sam Farr says [Farr Statement On War In Iraq, 3/20/03], "[T]he President has sent our troops overseas to enable the Iraqis to acquire the same democratic principles we enjoy." -- Does he really believe this? And if so, how does he square it with his April 7th, 2003 Town Hall statement of, "It was an unjust war last fall; it is an unjust war today."

-Sam Farr continually votes YES for bloated Pentagon war budgets.
United States' war related expenditures are greater than the next 10 largest nations' expenditures COMBINED.
*Voted YES on $288.8 billion FY2000 Defense Authorization bill to increase the military authorization by $18.3 billion over FY99. [H.R.1401 - 10-Jun-99] Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/ McKinney/Pelosi/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.
*Voted YES on Department of Defense Appropriations for F.Y.2000 [H R 2561 22-Jul-1999]
Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Waters.
*Voted IN FAVOR of more money for war. Stenholm (D-TX) [H CON RES 290] substitute amendment to the fiscal 2001 Budget Resolution calling for a $15 billion increase in defense spending. [23-Mar-00] Among those voting AGAINST were: Conyers/DeFazio/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Sanders/Waters/Woolsey.
*Farr voted AGAINST reducing the war budget by 1%. Frank (MA) amendment to reduce the total authorization of the FY2001 Defense Authorization bill (HR4205) by 1%. No cuts could be made in the operations and maintenance and the personnel accounts. [18-May-00] Among those voting in FAVOR were: Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.
*Voted YES for (HR4205) that authorized $309.9 billion for defense programs, a $21.2 billion increase from the fiscal 2000 authorized level, and an increase of $4.6 billion from the President's request. Of this increase, 57% went to buying unrequested weapon systems. Personnel accounts were not increased and only 22% of the increase above the President's request went for operations and maintenance (readiness). The bill provided $62.3 billion for weapons procurement, $39.3 billion for R&D, $104.4 billion for operations and maintenance, $8.4 billion for military construction and family housing and $12.8 billion for the Energy Department. [18-May-00] Among those voting NO were: Conyers/DeFazio/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Pelosi/Sanders/Stark/Waters.
*Voted YES on H.R.5010, (Department of Defense appropriations for F.Y.2003), at the time the LARGEST MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS BILL IN HISTORY (27-JUN-2002) Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Sanders/Stark/Woolsey.
*Voted YES on H R 4200, (DOD Authorization, Fiscal Year 2005) [$422 billion; includes more money for fighting in Iraq, expands current troop levels and hold off military base closings for at least three years, & includes a
provision that would let U.S. troops join with U.S. Border Patrol agents in guarding the nation's borders.] Among those voting NO were: Honda/ Kucinich/Lee/Rangel/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.
*Voted YES on H R 4613, 22-Jun-2004 (Department of Defense Appropriations, FY 2005). [$417 billion] Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Honda/Kucinich/Lee/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

-Voted NO on H.AMDT.421 to H.R.3289 (10/16/2003) [Emergency appropriations for defense and for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan] an Amendment which sought to delete language which authorized funds for military construction projects related to the Global War on Terrorism. Among those voting YES were: Conyers/Eshoo/Honda/Kucinich/Lee/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Waters/Woolsey.

-Farr voted NO on Defazio amendment [H.AMDT.80 to HR 2216] (June 20, 2001) to Defense Appropriations for 2001, which would have cut $24.5 million from the Air force account designated for the purchase of 8 luxury 737 jets for admirals and generals. Among those voting YES were: Lee/Kucinich/Conyers/Honda/Stark/Woolsey.

Remember "Barbara Lee Speaks For Me" ?
-Farr DIDN'T VOTE when Barbara Lee was the lone NO vote against the Use of Force authorization passed on Sept. 14, 2001 [H.J.RES 64 - Authorization for Use of Military Force.]

-Farr voted NO on prohibiting Colombian counter-narcotics funds to be used for a broader anti-terrorism campaign, thus allowing human rights abuses to continue unchecked. [5/22/02 - H.AMDT.496 to HR4775 (which would have forbid "counternarcotics funds provided for Columbia to be used as part of a wider campaign against terrorist groups in that country.")] Among those voting YES were: Conyers/Eshoo/Honda/Kucinich/Lee/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Woolsey.

-Voted YES to continue military terror and drug war in Colombia (H.AMDT.624 to HR 3908) - FY 2000 Supplemental Appropriations. Rep. Ramstad (R-MN) proposed an amendment that would eliminate $1.7 billion, most of which was for military uses, for Colombia. [29-Mar-00] Amendment sought to delete $1.7 billion provided for counternarcotics funding for Colombia. Among those voting AGAINST this funding were: Conyers/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/Pelosi/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

-Farr is quoted [Monterey Herald, 4/13/03] as saying, "I have worked hard to improve the quality of life for our troops around the world, and here at home at the DLI and the NPS. ... [M]ilitary service personnel in our region now have...special rates at .. golf courses. ... There can be no dispute that we owe our American troops a debt of gratitude and respect for winning the war." -- Does Sam Farr think we have WON this war? Will Sam Farr take actions to improve the quality of life for peace activists in his district? And will he issue a statement calling for a debt of gratitude to the peace activists that tried to stop the war?

-Farr voted YES on S.CON.RES.21 [28-Apr-99], which would have authorized the President of the United States to conduct military air operations and air strikes against Yugoslavia. [It failed.] Among those voting NO were: DeFazio/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Stark/Woolsey.
-Farr voted NO on H.R.1569, which prohibited funding of ground elements in Yugoslavia unless specifically authorized by law. Among those voting YES were: DeFazio/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Sanders/Stark.
Farr voted NO on H.AMDT.76 (to H.R. 1664) which attempted to "prohibit the use of funds for any invasion of Yugoslavia with U.S. ground forces except in time of war." Among those voting YES were: Conyers/DeFazio/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Sanders/Stark.
-Farr voted YES on HR 1664 (6-May-1999)which authorized funding for military operations in Yugoslavia, money which came out of Social Security funds. Among those voting NO were: Conyers/DeFazio/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Pelosi/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.
-In a letter distributed by Farr at the Del Mar Town Hall meeting, explaining his NO vote on H.J.RES.114 (authorizing use if force against Iraq), he stated, "..the bill went against the Constitutional mandate of the U.S. Congress to decide whether or not to commit this country to war." --- In light of his Yugoslavia votes under a Democratic administration, he is open to criticism that his vote against use of force in Iraq under a Republican administration is mere partisan politics, if not hypocrisy. Also note that depleted uranium was used and that civilians & communications were deliberately targeted.

-Farr co-sponsored a bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to change the requirements for naturalization to citizenship through service in the Armed Forces of the United States. Period of Required Service Reduced to 2 Years (from 3). [H. R. 1275 - 3/13/03]

-Farr voted IN FAVOR of war on terrorism. Hunter (CA) motion (HR4547) to suspend the rules and pass the Cost of War Against Terrorism Authorization bill that would authorize $10 billion for operations conducted as part of the war on terrorism in FY03. [24-Jul-02] Voting AGAINST were: Kucinich/Lee/McKinney

-Farr supported the Marine invasion of Monterey ("Urban Warrior")

-Farr has stated (Monterey Herald 1/8/04): "Nobody would vote in favor of a base closure in his own district."
[presumably including Farr]

-California Peace Action, in their year 2004 Report Card gave 23 members of the California House Delegation an
A+ --> These included Lynn Woolsey/Nancy Pelosi/Barbara Lee/Pete Stark/Anna Eshoo/Mike Honda/Maxine Waters, et al. -- Sam Farr however, only merited a B+. [In CA Peace Action's 2001 report card, Farr merited an overall C+, and earned an F in the wasteful military spending category.]

On Veterans' Issues

-Farr Voted YES to cut $1.8 billion for the Veterans Administration [H.R. 2861 - 07/25/2003] Appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004. Among those voting NO were: Conyers/DeFazio/Honda/Kucinich/Lee/Stark.

On Impeaching Bush

-Farr does NOT support Bush impeachment. "[Farr] discouraged talk of impeachment, saying it would be impossible because the House Judiciary Committee is controlled by Republicans." [SJ Mercury News, 2/20/03]

On Labor and Fair Trade

-Farr voted YES on the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act [14-Jul-2004]
Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Frank (MA)/Kucinich/Lee/Paul/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

-Farr voted YES on NAFTA [17-NOV-1993 - H.R.3450] after promising he wouldn't. Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Dellums/Gephardt/Mink/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Tauzin/Waters/Woolsey.

-Farr voted YES on GATT. [HR 5110 - 11/29/1994] Among those voting NO were: Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Dellums/McKinney/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Woolsey.

-Farr voted YES to extend fast track authority for GATT. [HR 1876 - 6/22/1993] Among those voting NO were: Bonior/DeFazio/Dellums/McKinney/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Waters.

- Farr voted AGAINST withdrawing from the WTO. [H J Res 90 - 6/21/2000] Vote on adoption of a joint resolution that would withdraw congressional approval from the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization. Among those voting IN FAVOR of withdrawal: Bonior/DeFazio/Kucinich/McKinney/Mink/Sanders/Waters.

-Farr opposed striking Teamsters at Basic Vegetable in King City and sided with management.

-Farr voted AGAINST worker rights. Backed Provisions Exempting Millions of Workers From Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections. The inadequate minimum wage bill pushed by House GOP leaders also contained a number of "poison pill" provisions that would have exempted millions of workers from the minimum wage and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The UAW and other unions supported a [Clay] motion to recommit this bill to strike these anti-worker provisions. But the House rejected this motion. [9-Mar-00] Among those voting IN FAVOR were: Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Gephardt/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Mink/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

-Farr voted YES to sweatshops in Africa. In what was surely the most outrageous anti-worker vote of the 1999 Congress, this scheme will create a network of factory sweatshops throughout 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Corporate America has plans to move entire U.S. industries to these new sweatshop zones, beginning with garment and clothing assembly. To qualify for meager trade benefits, countries must rearrange their domestic policies to meet U.S.-imposed conditions benefiting foreign business interests but undermining most Africans’ interests. For instance, African countries would have to cut local taxes on corporations and provide new rights for foreign oil, mining and telecommunications companies. The House of Representatives passed this bill. [16-Jul-99 HR434] Among those voting NO were: Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Kucinich/McKinney/Sanders/Waters/Woolsey.

On Government Spying

-Farr voted AGAINST an amendment to financial services legislation, which would have put banks out of the business of spying on their customers for the government. It would have prohibited regulators from requiring banks to adopt programs similar to those that would have been required under the discredited "Know Your Customer" regulations. The ACLU supported the amendment. [7/01/1999 - H.AMDT.249 to H.R. 10] "Amendment sought to eliminate the requirement that financial institutions file certain suspicious activity reports." Among those voting IN FAVOR were: Mink/Woolsey.

On Free Speech

-Farr voted YES on the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 [H.R.3717 - 11-Mar -2004]
"Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to provide that, ... such violator is determined by the FCC to have broadcast obscene, indecent, or profane language, the amount of forfeiture penalty shall not exceed $275,000 for each violation or day of such violation, to a maximum of $3 million for any single act or failure to act." Among those voting NO were: Honda/Kucinich/Lee/Stark/Waters.

-Farr voted YES to ban raves. On April 10, 2003, the House passed S. 151 by a vote of 400-25. This legislation included provisions that would unfairly target property owners who host social gatherings – such as raves – by making them legally responsible for the acts of their patrons. The ACLU opposed this legislation because it contains provisions that threaten free speech and inhibited federal judges' sentencing discretion. Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Kucinich/Lee/Sanders/Stark/Waters.

On Reagan
-Farr voted YES to "celebrating" Ronald Reagan's "leadership in promoting the cause of freedom for all people of the world." [H RES 664 - 9-Jun-2004] -- Sixty House members chose to boycott this resolution and didn't vote. --

On Prisons

-Farr voted YES to limit judicial discretion on prison conditions. Sponsored by Rep. Tom DeLay, R-TX, this legislation continued the trend toward restraining the role of the federal judiciary by limiting the ability of federal judges to correct unconstitutional conditions in prisons. The ACLU opposed the bill, which was approved. [H.R. 3718 - 5/19/1998] Among those voting NO were: Bonior/Conyers/Lee/McKinney/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Stark.


-Farr voted YES to the Drug War [H RES 412 - 4-Mar-2004] "Honoring the Men and Women of the Drug Enforcement Administration on the Occasion of its 30th Anniversary." These are the thugs who raided WAMM and other medical marijuana providers!

-Farr voted YES to keep sentencing disparities in place between crack & powdered cocaine. [H.R. 2259 18-OCT-1995] In a groundbreaking act, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that there was no justification or sound scientific basis for the disparity in sentencing between those convicted of selling and using crack cocaine compared to those who sell or use powder cocaine and recommended that Congress end the 100-to-1 disparity in sentencing. For the first time in the history of the Commission, Congress (and the House) rejected the Commission's recommendations. Among those voting NO were: Bonior/Conyers/Dellums/Jackson-Lee/Mink/Pelosi/Sanders/Waters.

On Separation of Church and State

-Farr voted YES to support the display of the 10 Commandments in courtroom. This "sense of the House" resolution was designed to support an Alabama judge who continued to post the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall despite a federal court ruling that doing so was unconstitutional. The ACLU opposed the resolution, which was adopted. [H Con Res 31 - 3/05/1997] Among those voting NO were: Abercrombie/Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Dellums/Gephardt/Kucinich/McKinney/Mink/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Tauscher/Waters/Woolsey.

On Immigrants

-Farr voted YES to deny benefits to immigrants. [H.R. 2202 21-Mar-1996] Seeking to capitalize on a wave of anti-immigration initiatives, both the House and Senate passed bills that represented the most draconian and divisive immigration proposals in decades. Included were provisions that would strip the courts of jurisdiction over illegal and abusive INS actions and erect enormous and virtually insurmountable barriers for most people seeking political asylum. The House even approved a bill that would have effectively denied public education to American citizen children of undocumented immigrants. The Senate voted 97 to 3 to accept one version of the legislation; the House approved a harsher version by a vote of 333 to 87. The President signed the immigration legislation in September. Among those voting NO were: Bonior/Conyers/Dellums/McKinney/Mink/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Woolsey.

On Health Care

-Farr voted AGAINST allowing prescription drug imports. [June 13, 2004] The Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on agriculture passed a measure that prevents the FDA from spending funds to bar imports such as those from Canada, where government price controls have made many prescription drugs cheaper than they are in the United States. The measure was introduced by House Agriculture ranking member Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, who said that the amendment would allow people "to access safe prescription drugs." Rep. Sam Farr of California was the only Democrat to vote against the proposal.

On Palestine

-Farr voted YES on H CON RES 460 (23-Jun-2004) "Regarding the security of Israel and the principles of peace in the Middle East", which endorses right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s efforts to colonize and annex large sections of the Palestinian West Bank, seized by Israel in the June 1967 war. In supporting this resolution, Congress has effectively renounced UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which call on Israel ­ in return for security guarantees from its Arab neighbors ­ to withdraw from territories seized in the June 1967 war. All previous U.S. administrations of both parties had seen these resolutions as the basis for Arab-Israeli peace. More fundamentally, Congress’ effective endorsement of an Israeli annexation of land it conquered in the 1967 war is a direct challenge to the United Nations Charter, which forbids any country from expanding its territory through military conquest. The resolution also insists that supporting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel ­ or even in the occupied territories to be annexed by Israel under the Bush-Sharon plan ­ would not be "just" or "fair." Among those voting NO were: Conyers/Kucinich/Lee/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

On Corporations

-Farr is a millionaire who owns stock in several large corporations. [June 21, 2004] Personal financial disclosure statements show Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, owning more than $1 million in stocks and other assets. Farr's assets: $1.28 million to $2.96 million. Most of Farr's assets are held in property in Big Sur and Carmel as well as an apartment building. He also has a stock account worth between $281,000 and $815,000. Interest, dividend and rent income: $23,600 to $70,900. The statements don't require Congressmembers to list the value of their primary residence or congressional salary, which was $154,700 last year.

-Farr voted YES to a pharmaceutical industry handout. [H.R. 2887 - 11/15/2001] Gave drug companies a six-month monopoly patent extension if they test the safety of their drugs in children. The cost to consumers was $14 billion over 20 years in higher drug prices. Public Citizen opposed the bill as a handout to the most profitable industry in the nation and instead proposed that drug companies test the safety of their drugs in children as a condition of getting drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Among those voting NO were: Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Mink/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

-Farr voted AGAINST auditing large public companies. [H.AMDT.457 24-Apr-02] Investor, Shareholder, and Employee Protection Act of 2002. Introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the bill would have created a Federal Bureau of Audits, a government agency to perform audits on all large U.S. public companies. Offered as an amendment to H.R. 3763 (Oxley/Republican accounting bill), it was defeated. Among those voting IN FAVOR were: Bonior/Conyers/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Sanders/Stark/Waters/Woolsey.

On the Environment

-Farr voted AGAINST humane wildlife control. [8-Jun-99] LETHAL PREDATOR CONTROL. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Charles Bass (R-NH) offered an amendment to H.R. 1906, the FY2000 agriculture appropriations bill, that would have reduced funding for the euphemistically named Wildlife Services program that annually slaughters almost 100,000 coyotes, foxes, bears, badgers, and other animals by using steel-jaw leghold traps, poisons, and other inhumane methods. This taxpayer subsidy for western ranchers has proven to be costly and ineffective in protecting livestock and has discouraged the use of nonlethal methods such as guard dogs and special fencing. During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2000 Agriculture Appropriations bill, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Charles Bass (R-NH) offered an amendment to cut $7 million from the $28 million Wildlife Services operations budget. This cut would still have allowed other programs in this budget to go forward, including programs to prevent bird strikes at airports and to protect endangered species; however, the amendment stipulated that no funds be used to kill predators for livestock protection. This amendment was defeated. Among those voting IN FAVOR were: Bonior/Conyers/DeFazio/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Pelosi/Rangel/Sanders/Stark/Tauscher/Woolsey.

-Farr voted AGAINST protecting the Delaware River From Environmentally Damaging Dredging. Representative Andrews (D-NJ) offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2001 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, H.R. 4733, that would have prohibited money from being spent on an environmentally damaging dredging project in the Delaware River. The dredging project could threaten the Delaware's water quality as well as wildlife. The Andrews amendment to H.R. 4733 was supported by the Sierra Club. [27-Jun-00] Among those voting IN FAVOR were: Conyers/Eshoo/Kucinich/Lee/McKinney/Sanders/Tauscher/Woolsey.

-Farr supports TOXIC BURNING at Fort Ord.

-Farr continually votes for extended use of methyl bromide.

=============================================================================

Had enough?

- Send a real progressive to Washington -

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Joe Williams for Congress
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williamsforcongress (at) onebox.com
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Comments

Time to Send Farr a Message?

Nice accounting, Joe.

You might want to add in the interests of full disclosure that Farr did, after mounting pressure last year (several visits to his office by groups of people, some of who suggested a sit-in), vote against the supplemental military appropriation.

However most recently he has fallen back into line with other Happy Warriors who are "ready for duty" (a la Kerry) and voted for the biggest military (that is, WAR) appropriation in history last month.

A call to Farr's office several weeks ago confirmed that Farr has not called for the withdrawal of troops nor an end to the use of uranium depeleted weapons. Anyone interested in visting Farr's office with sleeping bags and provisions for a long-term stay?
 

Stunning record of a sell-out of his constituents

Wow! I really thought Farr would reflect the point of view of the electorate in his district more than this record shows.

His votes show he is pro-war, pro-massive military budget, pro-drug war, against protecting free speech, against protecting personal privacy,
pro-pesticide, pro-corporate exploitation of African labor, and anti-environmental.

Why do people keep re-electing this jerk?
 

you forgot one thing...

He's also pro-Israeli state terror. Read on

Below is an analysis, written by Stephen Zunes, of House Concurrent Resolution 460, which supports Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The Resolution passed 407 to 9 on Wednesday [6/04/04].

As the Jerusalem Post reported, “The Unites States House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 407-9 in favor of a resolution endorsing US President George W. Bush's April declarations that Israel would not have to fully withdraw from the West Bank as part of a final peace deal, and that Palestinian refugees would not be resettled in Israel.?

Representative McDermott voted in favor of the resolution. Please contact his office and voice your displeasure with him for voting in support of Bush's endorsement of Israel's unilateral moves.

Jim McDermott
7th District Office
1809 7th Avenue, Suite 1212
Seattle, WA 98101-1399
(206) 553-7170
(206) 553-7175 Fax

D.C. Office
1035 Longworth HOB,
Washington DC, 20515
(202) 225-3106
(202) 225-6197 Fax

*****

Congressman Sam Farr went on record Wednesday in support of right-wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's efforts to colonize and annex large sections of the occupied West Bank.

House Concurrent Resolution 460, sponsored by right-wing Republican leader Tom Delay, “strongly endorses? the letter sent by President George W. Bush to the Israeli prime minister in April supporting his so-called “disengagement? plan. This unilateral initiative calls for withdrawing the illegal Israeli settlements from the occupied Gaza Strip, but — far more significantly — would incorporate virtually all of the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank into Israel, leaving the Palestinians with a series of non-contiguous and economically unviable cantons collectively constituting barely 10% of historic Palestine. (Even in the case of the Gaza Strip, Sharon's plan would allow Israel to control the borders, the ports, and the airspace, as well as having the right to conduct military operations at will.)

Most observers — including moderate and progressive Israelis — recognize that by leaving the Palestinians with little hope of achieving a viable state through negotiations, this will only swell the ranks of extremist Palestinian groups and produce more terrorism. Farr rejects this analysis, however, insisting that Sharon's land grab will somehow “enhance the security of Israel and advance the cause of peace in the Middle East.?

The Farr-supported resolution calls for the Palestinian “state? that could eventually emerge (which would actually be more like a Bantustan of apartheid-era South Africa) to be “based on rule of law and respect for human rights,? but does not call on Israel to respect the rule of law and human rights, which its occupation forces and colonists are violating on a daily basis. The resolution also repeatedly cites terrorism as the obstacle to peace and security, not the occupation and repression that has spawned it. Furthermore, the resolution calls for the United States to further strengthen Israel's military prowess and defends Israel's right to launch attacks against Palestinian groups that it deems threaten Israeli citizens, including settlers.

In supporting this resolution, Farr has effectively renounced UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which call on Israel — in return for security guarantees from its Arab neighbors — to withdraw from Palestinian territories seized in the June 1967 war. All previous U.S. administrations of both parties had seen these resolutions as the basis for Arab-Israeli peace.

These Israeli settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deem it illegal for any country to transfer any part of its civilian population onto territories seized by military force. UN Security Council resolutions 446, 455, 465 and 471 explicitly call on Israel to remove its colonists from the occupied territories. The vast majority of these settlements that the Bush-Sharon plan seeks to formally annex into Israel were built after these resolutions were passed. Farr, however, in an incredible act of chutzpah, claims that Israel cannot now withdraw from these settlements “in light of new realities on the ground,? i.e., the new settlements that were built in violation of these UN Security Council resolutions. Congressman Farr, however, apparently agrees with President Bush that Sharon's Israel, unlike Saddam's Iraq, need not abide by UN Security Council resolutions.

Not surprisingly, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was highly critical of the U.S. endorsement of Sharon's plan, noting that “final status issues should be determined in negotiations between the parities based on relevant Security Council resolutions.? Farr, however, appears to prefer Bush and Sharon's unilateralism to the international legal framework provided by the United Nations.

Farr has also gone of record saying refering to the illegal settlements euphemistically as “Israeli population centers? that are located “in Israel? and that recognizing the right of Palestinians refugees to return to their homes would not be “just? or “fair.?

The Bush letter that Farr endorsed effectively destroys the once highly-touted “road map? and marks the first time in the history of the peace process that a U.S. president has pre-empted negotiations by announcing support of such a unilateral initiative by one party. Both Israel and the United States have continued to refuse to even negotiate with Palestine Authority president Yasir Arafat, Palestinian prime minister Amhed Qureia, or any other recognized Palestinian leader, on substantive issues dealing with a peace settlement.

The resolution is also being widely interpreted as an effort to short-circuit last fall's Geneva Initiative – supported by the Palestinian leadership and leading Israeli moderates – where Palestinians agreed that Israel could annex some blocs of settlements, but only along Israel's internationally-recognized bo rders and only in exchange for an equivalent amount of territory currently part of Israel that would be granted to the new Palestinian state. According to public opinion polls, the majority of Americans — including a majority of American Jews — support this approach over the Bush-backed Sharon plan endorsed by Farr.

More fundamentally, Farr's effective endorsement of an Israeli annexation of land it conquered in the 1967 war is a direct challenge to the United Nations Charter, which forbids any country from expanding its territory through military force. Farr's vote therefore constitutes nothing less than a renunciation of the post-World War II international system, effectively recognizing the right of conquest.

Supporting the resolution were the Christian Coalition, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, and other right-wing groups. Leading the opposition to the resolution were Churches for Middle East Peace, the Tikkun Community, and similar progressive organizations. The “no? votes included such leading Congressional liberals as John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Pete Stark, Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, John Dingell, and Maxine Waters. Farr, however, decided to place himself in the “aye? column with the Republican Right.

Please contact Sam Farr's offices protesting his support of this resolution which not only violates Palestinian rights, but undermines the peace process, threatens Israel's legitimate security interests, undermines the authority of the United Nations, and undercuts fundamental international law.

Washington office: 202-225-2861

Distict offices: (831) 429-1976 and (831) 424-2229

This is the listserv for the Friends of Palestine Solidarity Committee, based in Seattle. You can find out more about PSC by replying to this email address, emailing us at palestinejustice (at) yahoo.com, or by coming to one of our events. Once you've come to a meeting, you may become a member of PSC. We welcome all non-racists working for justice and human rights all over the world, including Palestine.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

" Wow! I really thought Farr would reflect the point of view of the electorate in his district more than this record shows.

His votes show he is pro-war, pro-massive military budget, pro-drug war, against protecting free speech, against protecting personal privacy,
pro-pesticide, pro-corporate exploitation of African labor, and anti-environmental.

Why do people keep re-electing this jerk?"

I suppose he actually does represent the views of the people in his electorate... :)
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Well, he does represent a lot of conservative areas. I don't know how many of you have been through the Salinas Valley, but that is straight up farm country.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Yeah, and Monterey, with its acres of military bases...
 

The Lies of Stephen Zunes

In response to Stephen Zunes who I consider an anti-semite: Zunes wrote --- "colonize and annex large sections of the occupied West Bank"

Is Zunes saying that the Jews have NOT had a continuous presence in Israel for the past 3,500 years? Does he discount that much of history?

To characterize the Israelis as "colonists" when they are building a nation on land that they have considered theirs for over 3000 years, on land that is filled with artifacts of Jewish antiquity, on land that was allocated to them by a UN resolution, is a good example of anti-semiticism. Zunes discounts this heritage.

The Palestinians, by contrast, are mostly immigrants themselves from neighboring Arab countries. Even Arafat is an Egyptian. As for the term "occupied West Bank" I ask the reader, whose land is Israel "occupying?" Doesnt the Palestinian Authority govern those regions?

The uninformed reader (and Zunes largely plays to them--he can't handle a debate with an informed opponent) might say "Israel is occupying Palestinian land". Well, dear reader, WHEN did the land of the West Bank (whose REAL name is Judea and Samaria)become "Palestinian" land? The West Bank was conquered by Israel in 1967 from JORDAN!!! Is Israel occupying Jordanian land? NO!! Zunes doesnt tell you this.
He prefers ignorant audiences.

UN resolution 242 signed right after the '67 war granted military and administrative control to Israel (well, they had it already. The countries accepted THAT.) The resolution set forth a process for negotiations, treaties, and final setting of borders. Israel has done this with Jordan. Jordan no longer WANTS the West Bank.

But, dear reader, WHEN did that land come to BELONG to the Palestinian people? Can you name the date? Who wrote the treaty? Who signed it?
Zunes wont tell you this.

Zunes: "the illegal Israeli settlements from the occupied Gaza Strip"

BECKY: Does Zunes tell you that some of the Israeli "settlements" have been in Gaza for over 900 years? Gee, he didn't???? Big surprise. But what else would you expect from an anti-semite?

Zunes is wrong about the settlements. they are not illegal. Neither UN resolution 242, nor Oslo, nor any other agreement Israel has signed has forbidden Jewish settlements in Gaza or the West Bank. Indeed, Jewish settlements have been there for a millenia. If the furor is over NEW settlements, then what is the problem? No Arabs were displaced in the process. No one was made homeless by these communities. It is anti-semitic to insist that NO JEW can live in an area.

Zunes: "leaving the Palestinians with a series of non-contiguous and economically unviable cantons collectively constituting barely 10% of historic Palestine".

BECKY: Actually, since Israel put up the security barrier, movement on the West Bank between different Palestinian towns has increased. the IDF has removed many checkpoints as the barrier has replaced that need for security. The "economic unviable" argument has merit, but not for the reasons Zunes states. The Palestinian economy thrived prior to Oslo and the Palestinian Authority under Israel's rule. The main source of income was good paying jobs in Israel. with all the security barriers, these jobs are no longer practical. Since the PA and the Palestinian people have continuously thrown their efforts into waging war against the Jews, they have failed to build any kind of infrastructure that would build their own economy.Since Israel will no longer tolerate the attacks on its own citizens, the Palestinians sit in the dust in poverty.

This reminds me of the old joke. How many Arabs does it take to screw in a lightbulb? NONE! They prefer to sit in the dark and blame Israel!

Zunes 10% statistic is phoney too. Historic Palestine (I assume he means the British Mandate for Palestine)was an area of 118,000 sq. km. In 1921, the British mandated 78% to the Arabs. In 1947, the UN resolution which set up the modern State of Israel, only allocated 13% of the original "historic" Palestine to the Jews. In the war for independence (and survival) Israel captured land and increased that 13% to 17%. Israel's security barrier's current route would incorporate about 10% of the West Bank by including those areas along the border which have a predominantly Jewish population. However, with the new Israeli Supreme Court decision, that number will be smaller.

Zunes writes: "...cites terrorism as the obstacle to peace and security, not the occupation and repression that has spawned it"

BECKY: How does Zunes explain away the 1948 war by the Arabs --- a war of extermination where Arab leaders openly stated they would drive the Jews into the sea? How does he explain all the terror attacks prior to 1967? When did the Arabs cease wanting to kill the Jews and destroy Israel? Zune wants you to believe all was hunky dory before 1967. He wants you to be ignorant of some very well known facts. The Palestinian Arabs have been offered an independant state 14 times since 1937 (according to Israeli historian David Meir-Levi). They refused each time.

Zunes writes: "Farr has effectively renounced UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which call on Israel — in return for security guarantees from its Arab neighbors — to withdraw from Palestinian territories seized in the June 1967 war"

BECKY: Zunes knows but won't tell you that in 1967, the language of res. 242 was hotly debated. The Arabs wanted it to say "withdraw from all Palestinian territories seized" but Israel and the United States would only agree if the word "all" was struck. It was assumed that minor border changes would be needed in order for Israel to protect its security and its citizens. The path of the barrier ( which was decided on unilaterally by Israel because the Palestinians would never agree to any route) does just that. It incorporates large areas of Jewish settlement. The barrier is to protect as many Jews as possible from Arab violence.

Zunes writes: "These Israeli settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deem it illegal for any country to transfer any part of its civilian population onto territories seized by military force."

BECKY: This only applies to territories seized from another country. What country did Israel "seize" territory from? Jordan. What country has Israel signed a peace treatie with and mutally agreed on borders? Jordan and Egypt.
The land which Zunes claims is "illegally" occupied is actually unallocated portions of the British Palestine Mandate. It WOULD have been an independent state of Palestine had the Arabs accepted UN resolution 181 in 1947. But they didnt. So the land really has no clear owner. Zune's Geneva Convention argument doesnt apply here. He hopes you are stupid enough to not know the facts. BTW the suicide bombings also violate the Geneva Convention. Where in Zunes long diatribe does he mention this fact?

Zunes writes: "the right of Palestinians refugees to return to their homes would not be “just? or “fair.?

BECKY: Zunes does not tell you that of the 650,000 Arabs who fled in 1948, 170,000 have been officially repatriated with Israel and are now Israeli citizens. Nor does he tell you that opinion polls done among these "refugees" (they live in houses and buildings, have jobs and lives in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan now) say that only 10% even expressed an interested in being "returned" to Israel (the youngest of these original refugees would be 56 years old now!!) the percentage drops to 5% if it meant a return under Israeli rule.

Zunes writes: "Palestine Authority president Yasir Arafat"

BECKY: Zunes never reminds us that Arafat was elected to a five-year term 8 years ago. That makes him a dictator. As far as Israel refusing to negotiate---the lessons of Oslo should be apparent to all. Arafat never meant anything he promised in the Oslo accords. He never went after the terror groups. He actually supports them financially with money that was supposed to go for the human needs of the Palestinian people. Israel would be insane to sign another agreement with Arafat, although Barak tried to do just that in 2000 under Clinton's pressure.

Zunes writes: "an effort to short-circuit last fall's Geneva Initiative "

BECKY: The Geneva Accords will never be accepted by Israel. I personally object to their give-away of the Temple Mount to the Palestinians. HUH????
The Temple Mount is the most holy site in the world for the Jews. It is where the first and second Jewish temple stood for thousands of years. It is at the core of Judaism. The Islamic claim to it is as phoney as a three-dollar bill. Really! Mohammed ascended into heaven there? At a place he never mentioned in the Koran? At a place he never visited even once in his life????
Its just an ancient example of Arabs lying. Now you have Zunes promoting this ancient Arab lie. Zunes is not concerned with the truth. He is focused on condemning Israel and convincing as many naive people he can to do the same.

Zunes writes: "United Nations Charter, which forbids any country from expanding its territory through military force."

BECKY: Here is an example of a BIG LIE. Israel was determined by the United Nations in 1967 as having waged a DEFENSIVE war. It was the ARABS who were expanding territory through military force. Read 80 different newspapers from 1967 to get this story. Israel's control of conquered territories taken in a defensive war is not illegal. Israel has complied with resolution 242 and negotiated peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. It has returned 94% of land taken in 1967. Yet, Zunes wants you to believe that Israel was the the one breaking international law. Nothing could be further from the truth.
 

What is a Semite?

Sem·ite n.

1. A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians.
 

What is an Anti-Semite?

Don't play semantics! The terms semite and anti-semite were first used in Germany to attack the Jews. No Arab in Nazi Germany stood up and said "I'm a Semite too!! Gas me too!!"

When I (and most people) use the word "anti-semite" I am talking about Jew-bashing.

If you prefer, in the future, I will simply say Jew-basher instead of anti-semite.

Will that work for you?

BTW Jew-bashers are ignorant, hateful, and prejudiced people
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Semantics? No its the DEFINITION of the word. A semite, includes Arab people, so YOU are semantically incorrect, fool.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Sem·ite
1. A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians.
2. A JEW.
3. Bible. A descendant of Shem.

Now, perhaps we should look up vernacular next...
 

Go and die? Is that a threat?

Go and die Becky? fool?
I note you did not refute a single argument that I made. You have NO FACTS with which to refute me so you lapse into name-calling.

In a formal debate, this would mean that all my arguments stand uncontested and you lose points for name-calling.

But this is not a formal debate. And when you say "Go and die" that is a veiled threat against my life. And if YOU don't pose a threat to me, then perhaps those you incite will.

You have freedom of speech but the things you say can and do have consequences.
 

Joe Williams for Congress!

Becky Johnson we are sick of your anti-Palestinian hatred. Anytime someone posts something intelligent we are forced to digress into answering your ignorance.

Becky, it is unfortunate that you do not see Palestinians as human beings. Your diatribes of hatred are offensive. The blood of Palestinian children flows out of their small bodies into the dirt because of the massive assistance of U.S. tax dollars and the blessing of the ignorant such as yourself. Mothers weep for their dead children as a result of official Zionist policy while you would like to blame the entire Palestinian population for the acts of Hamas. Becky, please reconsider your racism.

Now I progress to the original purpose of this post and say to Joe Williams thanks for running and exposing Sam Farr's real record.

Joe Williams for Congress!
 

Steve---cut the name-calling please????

Why do you characterize what I say as "anti-Palestinian" or as "racist". I made a point by point refutation of Stephen Zunes completely one-sided and innacurate Israel-bash-fest and all you can do is name call?

Last I checked, Zunes is not a Palestinian.

In fact, most of my criticisms are of those on the left in Santa Cruz who blame Israel for defending itself from Arab attacks and who spread known misinformation in an attempt to hook the gullible.

How does this make me a racist?

YOU, on the other hand advocate the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Your ill-conceived idea of a secular democracy instead of Israel will not fly. Can you name a single example of a secular democracy in any Arab/Muslim country? Why don't you impose your secular democracy on a country that isn't already a democracy???

Try Saudi Arabia. Or Syria. Or Jordan. Or Egypt. Or Sudan. or......
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Becky, I call you a racist because you are one. You blame an entire nationality for the suicide bombings of a few; this is the same as the KKK who never tire of saying blacks rape white women. Neither ethnic group in its entirety is responsible as a whole for the actions of a few.

And Becky, you use your broad racist brush against the Palestinians to justify Zionist violence, just as the KKK uses their racist ideology to justify their own violence.

Yes Becky, I called you a racist, but it was not name-calling. Calling you a racist is scientific and it is accurate.

Nothing I posted had anything to do with Zunes, so I don't know why you bring him up again to point out he is not Palestinian. Then again nobody is a Palestinian according to you anyway, so what's your point?

As for Arab people not being able to handle secular democracy as opposed to being oppressed under a Jewish state, well this is just another example of your racism. You name countries as examples of this supposed Arab inability at self rule, but over half of the countries you named are just puppets of U.S. imperialism.

No to U.S. military support for Israel!

No to the pro-Zionist, pro-war, and anti-working class Democrat and Republican Parties!

Joe Williams for Congress!
 

Israel wants Peace. The Palestinians want destruction.

Steve: You say that I "blame an entire nation for the suicide bombings of a few." And from this, you conclude that I am a racist. I think you are either deluded or ingenuous.

A simple Google search reveals the following:


The majority of Palestinians believe military operations (including suicide bombings) against Israeli targets (including Israeli civilians) are a suitable response to Israeli occupation within the current political situation. Most Palestinians support military operations both inside Israel (YES-WITHIN THE GREEN LINE) and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

As for suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, there is a slight trend of decreased support for them since 59.9 percent of those interviewed somewhat or strongly supported them dropping from 62.7 percent last December, 64.3 percent last September, 68.1 last June 72 percent last March and 74 percent in December 2001. Of those surveyed, 30.329.8 percent somewhat or strongly opposed suicide bombings compared with 29.8 percent last December and 21.7 percent in March 2002.

These results came from: www.jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2003/no48.htm

Also:
A poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media & Communication Center (JMCC), a Palestinian think tank headed by Dr. Ghassan Khatib, the newly appointed Minister of Labor in the Palestinian cabinet, surveyed 1,179 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between May 29 and June 2. The JMCC public opinion polls are supported by a fund from Fredrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation from Germany. The poll's margin of error is 3%.

The survey found that 51.1% of the Palestinians believed the Palestinian goal of the conflict was to "liberate all of historic Palestine," while 42.8% of those surveyed said the goal was to end Israel's occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In December, a JMCC survey showed that 43.9% of the Palestinians favored the liberation of all of historic Palestine as the end result to the Intifada.

BECKY: These are code words for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.

78.9% of those surveyed in the recent poll said they favored the continuation of the Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza, while only 46.6% of the Palestinians answered a separate question by saying that they supported peace negotiations with Israel.

BECKY: Note-less than half even WANT to make peace with Israel. They WANT to continue the war, the killings, and, hopefully, the end of the Jewish State--Just like you do,Steve.

68.1% of the Palestinians surveyed said that they supported suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, while only 26% opposed such attacks. In December, 74% of the Palestinians said that they supported suicide bombings.

from: www3.baylor.edu/~Charles_Kemp/Israel3.htm

Why would those on the left support a people who are bent on war, killing, and destruction? Israel wants peace with its neighbors. Israel has offered the olive branch dozens of times only to be continually attacked by those who hate Jews.

And you call ME a racist for reporting this?
You, apparently, just want to pull the wool over the eyes of indymedia readers in order to justify your anti-semitic agenda.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Becky, you say 30 percent of Palestinians are strongly opposed to carrying out suicide bombings against civilians. Given the horrendous treatment of Palestinians by the Zionist state and fascistic Jewish settlers this is not all that bad. More of the Hebrew speaking population recognizing Palestinians as human beings would no doubt increase this number, as would the growth of a mass revolutionary socialist party.

Blaming an entire ethnic group for the actions of a few and carrying out more collective punishment against them, as the Zionist state is doing, will only assure more of the same. This is a cycle of violence that you have shown yourself to be entirely comfortable at supporting from the side of the oppressor nation. Socialists on the other hand see both the Zionist state and Hamas as obstacles to liberation and peace.

Becky, yes I, like the oppressed Palestinian people, am also for the liberation of all of historic Palatine. A bi-national, bi-lingual, and multi-religious nation should not be run by one group at the expense of all others, but that is the meaning of a Jewish state. The bloodbath caused by the Zionist settler state will only end when the Jewish state is gone. It will be within this framework that the oppressed Palestinian people will finally gain their human rights.

Why should Palestine be a Jewish country any more than it should be Islamic or Christian? Why should it be Hebrew over being Arab? Why should the Zionist state continue getting away with their discrimination and terrorism against an entire ethnic group? These things can only be justified by racism.
 

The Name of the land is ISRAEL!!!

Steve, Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic. Israel allows freedom of religion and officially recognizes 15 separate religions. The violence is not caused by "fascist Zionist settlers" but by Arabs intent on killing Jews.

It is not "cycles of violence" but the Arabs still trying to kill the Jews.

The Jewish people are indigenous to Israel. I object to your use of the name "Palestine" because that was the name the Roman conquerors gave to the land after they burned down the 2nd Jewish temple and killed an estimated 400,000 Jews. The Romans crucified so many Jews they ran out of timber to do the job.

The name of the land was Israel long before the Romans. And in 1948, the land became Israel again (replacing the BRTITISH appellation of "Palestine"). It is a sign of your disrespect and your animosity to the Jewish people that you refuse to accept the name Israel and even resort to the racist expression "Hebrew-speaking people" because you cannot stand the name Israel--the only legitimate name for the land.

Jews have lived continuously on the land of Israel for 3,500 years. Those "settlements" can date back thousands of years--but you refuse to recognize their legitimacy. You act as though the Palestinian Arabs are the only "indigenous" people. Archeology proves you wrong.

Why should Israel be a Jewish country? First, the Israelis get to choose what kind of country they can have---not you.
2nd--after the Nazi holocaust, the world accepted the need for a Jewish homeland
3rd--- lots of countries have an official state religion including Sweden. I don't hear you rail against the Swedes. So you must just hate Jews.

And you call ME a racist???????
 

Nader Writes to ADL on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Nader Writes to the Anti-Defamation League on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

www.votenader.org/why_ralph/index.php

The letter below to the Anti-Defamation League describes Ralph Nader’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by highlighting the voice for peace that he would emphasize when working toward a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

August 5, 2004

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director
Anti-Defamation League
823 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Foxman:

How nice to hear your views. Years ago, fresh out of law school, I was reading your clear writings against bigotry and discrimination. Your charter has always been to advance civil liberties and free speech in our country by and for all ethnic and religious groups. These days all freedom-loving people have much work to do.

As you know there is far more freedom in the media, in town squares and among citizens, soldiers, elected representatives and academicians in Israel to debate and discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than there is in the United States. Israelis of all backgrounds have made this point.

Do you agree and if so, what is your explanation for such a difference?

About half of the Israeli people over the years have disagreed with the present Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinian people. Included in this number is the broad and deep Israeli peace movement which mobilized about 120,000 people in a Tel Aviv square recently.

Do you agree with their policies and strategy for a peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians? Or do you agree with the House Resolution 460 in Congress signed by 407 members of the House to support the Prime Minister’s proposal? See attachment re the omission of any reference to a viable Palestinian state – generally considered by both Israelis and Palestinians, including those who have worked out accords together, to be a sine qua non for a settlement of this resolvable conflict – a point supported by over two-thirds of Americans of the Jewish faith. Would such a reasonable resolution ever pass the Congress? For more information on the growing pro-peace movements among the American Jewish Community see: Ester Kaplan, “The Jewish Divide on Israel,? The Nation, June 24, 2004.

Enclosed is the “Courage to Refuse – Combatant’s Letter? signed by hundreds of reserve combat officials and soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces. It is posted on their web at: www.seruv.org.il/defaulteng.asp . One highlight of their statement needs careful consideration: “We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people. We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves Israel’s defense. The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose – and we shall take no part in them? (Emphasis in original). Do you agree with these patriotic, front line soldiers’ observation that Israel is dominating, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people – the Palestinian people – and that in their words “the Territories are not Israel??

What is your view of Rabbi Lerner’s Tikkun’s call for peace, along with the proposals of Jewish Voice for Peace, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and Americans for Peace Now? As between the present Israeli government’s position on this conflict and the position of these groups, which do you favor and why?

Do you share the views in the open letter signed by 400 rabbis, including leaders of some of the largest congregations in our country, sent this March by Rabbis for Human Rights of North America to Ariel Sharon protesting Israel’s house-demolition policy?

Have you ever disagreed with the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people in any way, shape or manner in the occupied territories? Do you think that these Semitic peoples have ever suffered from bigotry and devastation by their occupiers in the occupied West Bank, Gaza or inside Israel? If you want a reference here, check the website of the great Israeli human rights group B’T selem.

Since you are a man of many opinions, with a specialty focused on the Semitic peoples, explain the United States’ support over the decades of authoritarian or dictatorial regimes, in the greater Middle East, over their own people which is fomenting resistance by fundamentalists.

These questions have all occurred to you years ago, no doubt. So it would be helpful to receive your views.

As for the metaphors – puppeteer and puppets – the Romans had a phrase for the obvious – res ipsa loquitur. The Israelis have a joke for the obvious – that the United States is the second state of Israel.

How often, if ever, has the United States – either the Congress or the White House-pursued a course of action, since 1956, that contradicted the Israeli government’s position? You do read Ha’aretz, don’t you? You know of the group Rabbis for Justice.

To end the hostilities which have taken so many precious lives of innocent children, women and men – with far more such losses on the Palestinian side – the occupying military power with a massive preponderance of force has a responsibility to take the initiative. In a recent presentation in Chicago, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made the point explicitly – Israel should take the initiative itself unilaterally and start disengaging from the West Bank and Gaza and not keep looking for the right Palestinian Authority. Amram Mitzna, the Labor Party's candidate for Prime Minister in the 2003 election, went ever further in showing how peace can be pursued through unilateral withdrawal. Do you concur with these positions?

Citizen groups are in awe of AIPAC’s ditto machine on Capitol Hill as are many members of Congress who, against their private judgment, resign themselves to sign on the dotted line. AIPAC is such an effective demonstration of civic action – which is their right – that Muslim Americans are studying it in order to learn how to advance a more balanced Congressional deliberation in the interests of the American people.

Finally, treat yourself to a recent column on February 5, 2004 in The New York Times, by Thomas Friedman, an author on Middle East affairs, who has been critical of both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership. Mr. Friedman writes:

“Mr. Sharon has the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat under house arrest in his office in Ramallah, and he’s had George Bush under house arrest in the Oval Office. Mr. Sharon has Mr. Arafat surrounded by tanks, and Mr. Bush surrounded by Jewish and Christian pro-Israel lobbyists, by a vice president, Dick Cheney, who’s ready to do whatever Mr. Sharon dictates, and by political handlers telling the president not to put any pressure on Israel in an election year—all conspiring to make sure the president does nothing.?

These are the words of a double Pulitzer Prize winner.

Do you agree with Mr. Friedman’s characterization? Sounds like a puppeteer-puppet relationship, doesn’t it? Others who are close to this phenomenon have made similar judgments in Israel and in the United States.

Keep after bigotry and once in a while help out the Arab Semites when they are struggling against bigotry, discrimination, profiling and race-based hostility in their beloved adopted country – the U.S.A. This would be in accord with your organization’s inclusive title.

Sincerely,

Ralph Nader

Enclosures (three attachments)
-----------------------------------------------------

Issa critical of Israel measure

June 24, 2004
The Hill
By Jonathan E. Kaplan

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a Lebanese American, yesterday criticized a bipartisan resolution supporting President Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral peace initiative.

The bill, H. Con. Res. 460, passed the House yesterday 407- 9. Issa reluctantly voted for the resolution.

patrick g. ryan
Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), above, negotiated the language in the bill with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

At yesterday morning’s Republican conference meeting, Issa, who spearheaded the successful effort to recall then-California Gov. Gray Davis (D) last year, complained that the resolution did not include language supporting a Palestinian state.

He complained that there was no mention of a Palestinian state in the resolution, according to a Republican lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The legislator added, “He did not like that stronger language was left out. But nobody said anything about it.?

Issa told The Hill, “It mischaracterizes President Bush’s position. He is clearly committed to a two-state solution that is all about justice for both sides … Partition is not a one-way street.?

“No bill is perfectly good or perfectly bad,? he said when asked why he did not oppose it.

As part of Republican efforts to sway Jewish Americans who vote for and contribute money disproportionately to Democratic candidates, House Republican leaders considered introducing a resolution supporting Bush’s policies in the Middle East when Israel celebrated its independence day May 14.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has also introduced a similar resolution that has not yet been considered.

When asked which Democrats would be politically uncomfortable voting for the resolution, a House GOP aide said: “Everybody in general and nobody in particular.?

Democratic Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Carolyn Kilpatrick (Mich.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Pete Stark (Calif.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Lynn Woolsey (Calif.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.) opposed the resolution.

Three Democrats, Reps. Donald Payne (NJ), Diane Watson (Calif.) and Mel Watt (N.C.), voted “present.?

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) was the only Republican who opposed it.

Over the past several years, Republicans have pushed to win over Jewish voters by linking the United States war against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to Israel’s war against suicide bombers, and by supporting Israel’s right to impose the terms of any future peace agreement with Palestinians.

This year, House Republicans have passed several resolutions supporting Israel or condemning anti-Semitism. Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) sponsored a resolution that condemned Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, who made anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks earlier this year. Other resolutions have not reached the House floor.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) sponsored legislation endorsing Israel’s security fence built to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from entering Israeli settlements and cities. The Bush administration opposes building the fence, as well as a security fence the Israelis want to build around David Ben Gurion airport outside of Tel-Aviv.
In April, Bush endorsed Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. Bush also wrote a letter to Sharon indicating he supported Israel’s right to settle its post-1967 borders and that the four million Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced out of Israel after the 1948 War of Independence should be resettled in a Palestinian state.

Israel expanded its borders in the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Israel also faces a demographic problem because the Palestinian population is growing so rapidly it could, in time, dilute the majority Jewish population in Israel.

Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) negotiated the language in the resolution with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). A GOP aide who was familiar with the negotiations said the language did not change after DeLay conferred with Hoyer.

Hoyer, a longtime ally of Israel and Jewish causes, told The Hill that the resolution was a work in progress. “It articulated positions that both sides could support,? he said. “What’s important is not where we started but where we ended up.?

He expected most Democrats to support the measure. But some Democrats, such as Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), voted for the resolution while criticizing the Bush administration’s approach to the Middle East peace process.

In a statement on the House floor, Capps said: “I believe the resolution places too much emphasis on the recent exchange of letters between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon. But I’m pleased the legislation notes that changes to a final status agreement based on new realities on the ground must be mutually agreed to by Israel and the Palestinians.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Courage to Refuse – Combatant’s Letter

We, reserve combat officers and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who were raised upon the principles of Zionism, sacrifice and giving to the people of Israel and to the State of Israel, who have always served in the front lines, and who were the first to carry out any mission, light or heavy, in order to protect the State of Israel and strengthen it.

We, combat officers and soldiers who have served the State of Israel for long weeks every year, in spite of the dear cost to our personal lives, have been on reserve duty all over the Occupied Territories, and were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people. We, whose eyes have seen the bloody toll this Occupation exacts from both sides.

We, who sensed how the commands issued to us in the Territories, destroy all the values we had absorbed while growing up in this country.

We, who understand now that the price of Occupation is the loss of IDF’s human character and the corruption of the entire Israeli society.

We, who know that the Territories are not Israel, and that all settlements are bound to be evacuated in the end.

We hereby declare that we shall not continue to fight this War of the Settlements.

We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people.

We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves Israel’s defense.

The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose – and we shall take no part in them.

Source: www.seruv.org.il/defaulteng.asp
Rabbis for Human Rights/North America
An Open Letter to Prime Minister Sharon of Israel from North American and European Rabbis

www.rhr-na.org//LetterToSharon.html

Dear Prime Minister Sharon,

We Rabbis, leaders of our communities, longtime Zionists and supporters of Israel, are writing to express our concern and our support for our colleague, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who is on trial in Jerusalem for trying to prevent the demolition of 2 Palestinian homes.

We have two concerns. Our first concern is for our colleague who has devoted his life to Israel and to the Zionist vision of building and sustaining a Jewish State that exemplifies the values of compassion and justice. Rabbi Ascherman has dedicated his career to protecting the human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and his Zionist and Jewish commitments inspire thousands of Jews in Israel and abroad. Rabbi Ascherman and his two codefendants welcome the opportunity to stand trial in order to prove in a court of law that the policy of home demolitions is illegal and immoral. However, we fear that the decision to prosecute him is an attempt to silence his voice. For us and for many Jews in our communities the work of Rabbis for Human Rights represents the Jewish moral conscience. We express our love and commitment for Israel by supporting that work. To silence it is to push us away from the Israel we love.

Our second concern is about the home demolition policy itself. The homes that were demolished were not demolished for any security reason. None of the people in these homes engaged in violence or harboring terrorists. They were demolished because of a violation of zoning regulations in the context where it is almost impossible for Palestinian families in those parts of the West Bank under Israeli civilian control or in Jerusalem to legally obtain building permits. B’tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, reports that since 1987, literally thousands of homes have been built for Jews in these same areas, many receiving permits retroactively. Since 1987 2,500 Palestinian houses on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem have been demolished for administrative reasons leaving more than 16,000 Palestinians homeless.

Home demolitions constitute an especially disturbing human rights issue. A sense of home is an essential part of our humanity; homelessness has always been considered a human tragedy. Jews, because of our own history, are especially conscious of the issue of home, and Zionism can be said to be the movement to find a home for a people so often deprived of our homes.

The destruction of a home can only be experienced as a violation by its inhabitants. Something fundamental to one’s identity has been removed. To be deprived of one’s home is to be naked in the world. More, it can mean that one is unable to locate oneself in the world, to feel that one has a place. Without a home, wherever one walks in the world, a sense of tragedy and pain, of emptiness and shame accompanies you.

Any society must proceed with absolute caution before it destroys a home. That is a basic claim of justice. It is why Rabbis for Human Rights has been so involved with issues of home demolition since 1997. It is why Rabbi Ascherman stood with the Maswadeh family in Beit Hanina when the bulldozers came, leaving Sufian and Sana Maswadeh, their children, Mr Maswadeh’s sick mother, as well as his brother’s entire family homeless, within a matter of minutes. It is why he stood with the family of Ahmed Mousa Dari in Issawiyah, when the bulldozers came to demolish their home. It is why he is currently standing trial.

The home demolition policy contradicts the kind of Israel envisioned by the founders of a Jewish state, one that celebrates the prophetic voice which has animated our people for centuries, and which has given such vitality to the Zionist movement. This vision is articulated in the Declaration of Independence when it describes the state as one that “will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.? In the spirit of this vision, Israel must protect minority rights, and cherish and listen to its critics, to those who stand with the poor and powerless.

We urge the government to exercise wisdom in this matter: to rescind its policy of home demolitions and exonerate Rabbi Ascherman and others who have protested this unjust policy. We believe that the word of the prophets still speaks to us: ultimately, Zion will only be redeemed through justice and those who return to her through acts of righteousness (Isaiah 1:27).

Respectfully,

Rabbis Gerry Serotta and Sharon Kleinbaum
Co-chairs Rabbis for Human Rights North America

And signed by the list of rabbis below.

Copies of the letter were sent to:

The President of Israel, Moshe Katzav
The President of the Supreme Court, Aharon Barak
The Minister of Justice, Yosef Lapid
The Attorney General, Edna Arbel
The Mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Luplianski

Honorary Advisory Council, Rabbis for Human Rights – North America
Rabbi Brad Artson Vice President, University of Judaism and Dean of the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies Los Angeles CA
Rabbi Elliot Dorff Rector of the University of Judaism
Rabbi Amy Eilberg Co-Director of Morei Derekh program for Training in Spiritual Direction
Rabbi Laura Geller Beverly Hills CA
Rabbi Neil Gillman Jewish Theological Seminary New York NY
Rabbi Marc Gopin James H. Laue Professor of World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, Director, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University Fairfax VA
Rabbi Arthur Green Dean, Rabbinical School of Hebrew College Newton MA
Rabbi Paul Menitoff Executive Vice President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Sid Schwarz The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values Rockville MD
Rabbi David Teutsch Past President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Prominent Current and Former Leaders of National Jewish Organizations
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer Past President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg Former vice-president of the World Jewish Congress
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff Past president, Central Conference of American Rabbis New York NY
Rabbi Janet Marder President, Central Conference of American Rabbis Los Altos Hills CA
Rabbi Paul Menitoff Executive Vice President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi David Saperstein Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Dr. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Boulder CO
Rabbi Amy Joy Small President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbis of North America
Rabbi Daniel Alexander
Rabbi Scott Aaron Brandeis Bardin Institute Brandeis CA
Rabbi Judith Abrams Houston TX
Rabbi David Ackerman Tiferet Bet Israel Blue Bell PA
Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison Philadelphia PA
Rabbi David Adelson East End Temple New York N.Y.
Rabbi Jon Adland Indianapolis IN
Rabbi Ron Aigen Congregation Dorshei Emet Montreal QUE
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert Temple University Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Renni S. Altman Temple Beth-El of Great Neck Great Neck NY
Rabbi Camille Angel Congregation Sha’ar Zahav San Francisco CA
Rabbi Charles L. Arian Baltimore MD
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel Louisville KY
Rabbi Benjamin Arnold Temple Sinai Amherst NY
Rabbi Stephen A. Arnold So. Easton MA
Rabbi Melanie Aron Congregation Shir Hadash Los Gatos CA
Rabbi Daniel Aronson Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Wyncote PA
Rabbi Arthur Siegal Social Action Chair for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Union for Reform Judaism Seattle WA
Rabbi Craig Axler Congregation Beth Or Spring House PA
Rabbi Larry Bach Temple Mount Sinai El Paso TX
Rabbi Andrew N. Bachman Bronfman Center of NYU New York NY
Rabbi Stacie Bahle Suttons Bay MI
Rabbi Barbara Epstein Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA
Rabbi Samuel Barth Austin TX
Rabbi Eliot J. Baskin, D. Min. Congregation Beth Evergreen Evergreen CO
Rabbi Pamela Frydman Baugh San Francisco CA
Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman Cong. Brith Achim Petersburg VA
Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman Founding Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple Los Angeles CA
Rabbi Martin Beifield Richmond VA
Rabbi Marc J. Belgrad Congregation Beth Am Buffalo Grove IL
Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak HaMifgash Los Angeles CA
Rabbi Moshe ben Asher Gather the People Baltimore MD
Rabbi Peter Berg Temple Beth Or Washington Township NJ
Rabbi Donald R. Berlin Temple Oheb Shalom Baltimore MD
Rabbi Donna Berman, Ph.D. Executive Director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center
Rabbi Howard A. Berman Boston MA
Rabbi Joel Berman Ohev Tzedek – Sha’arei Torah Congregation Boardman OH
Rabbi Marjorie Berman Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Phyllis Berman Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner Congregation Bet Mishpachah Washington DC
Rabbi Binyamin Biber, Machar: The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism Washington DC
Rabbi Aaron B. Bisno Congregation Rodeph Shalom Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Joseph R. Black Congregation Albert Albuquerque NM
Rabbi Herman J. Blumberg Temple Shir Tikva Wayland MA
Rabbi Rena Blumenthal Vassar College New Paltz N.Y.
Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton Congregation Beit Tikvah Baltimore MD
Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav B’nai Havurah: CJRF Denver CO
Rabbi Neal I Borovitz Temple Sholom River Edge NJ
Rabbi Barbara Borts Temple Adath Yeshurun/CCAR Manchester NH
Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner Director of the Center for Multifaith Education, Auburn Theological Seminary New York NY
Rabbi Charles Briskin Los Altos Hills CA
Rabbi Herbert Brockman, PhD Congregation Mishkan Israel New Haven CT
Rabbi Caryn Broitman Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center Vineyard Haven MA
Rabbi Deborah R. Bronstein Congregation Har HaShem & CCAR Boulder VO
Rabbi Lester Bronstein Bet Am Shalom Synagogue White Plains NY
Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein Bnai Jeshurun New York NY
Rabbi Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus Wheaton College Norton MA
Rabbi Andrew Busch Beth David Reform Congregation Wynnewood PA
Rabbi Ari Cartun Congregation Etz Chayim Palo Alto CA
Rabbi Susan Bulba Carvutto Temple Beth El Augusta ME
Rabbi Joshua Chasan, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue Burlington VT
Rabbi Carl Choper Temple Beth Shalom Mechanicsburg PA
Rabbi Ayelet Cohen Congregation Beth Simchat Torah New York NY
Rabbi Debrah Cohen Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Henry Cohen Wynnewood PA,
Rabbi Howard A. Cohen RRA & Ohalah member, Congregation Beth El Bennington VT
Rabbi Michael M. Cohen Israel Congregation Manchester Center VT
Rabbi Steve Cohen Hillel Foundation at University of California Santa Barbara CA
Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener West Hartford CT
Rabbi Hillel Cohn Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Emanu El San Bernardino CA
Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels Beth Shir Sholom Santa Monica CA
Rabbi Julian Cook Denver CO
Rabbi David J. Cooper Kehilla Community Synagogue Berkeley CA
Rabbi Mychal Copeland Hillel at Stanford Atherton CA
Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran Williams College Williamstown MA
Rabbi Laurie Coskey San Diego CA
Rabbi Rachel Cowan New York NY
Rabbi Meryl Crean Martins Run Life Care Community Media PA
Rabbi William Cutter
Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan Congregation Beth Israel Chico CA
Rabbi Dan Danson Mt Sinai Congregation Wausau WI
Rabbi Harry K Danziger Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Israel Memphis TN
Rabbi Braham M. David Temple Shalom Medford MA
Rabbi Justin David Congregation B’nai Israel Northampton MA
Rabbi Jerome K. Davidson Temple Beth-El of Great Neck Great Neck NY
Rabbi Mona Decker Baltimore MG
Rabbi Lavey Yitzchak Derby Congregation Kol Shofar Tiburon CA
Rabbi Shoshanah Devorah Congregation Kol HaEmek Ukiah CA
Rabbi Bruce Diamond Temple Beth El El Fort Myers FL
Rabbi James S. Diamond Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University Princeton NJ
Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner Temple Beth Or, member URJ Raleigh NC
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation Bethesda MD
Rabbi Robert Dobrusin Ann Arbor MI
Rabbi Michael Dolgin Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto Toronto ON Canada
Rabbi Shelton J. Donnell Temple Beth Sholom Santa Ana CA
Rabbi Art Donsky Ohav Shalom Allison Park PA
Rabbi William Dreskin Woodlands Community Temple White Plains NY
Rabbi Ellen Dreyfus B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom Homewood IL
Rabbi Alice Dubinsky Congregation Bet Ha’am South Portland ME
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer Jewish Community of Amherst Amherst MA
Rabbi Kai Eckstein SF Bay Area CA
Rabbi Laurence Edwards Congregation Or Chadash Chicago IL
Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein Congregation B’nai Tzedek Fountain Valley CA
Rabbi Jeffrey Eisenstat Gladwyne PA
Rabbi Ed Elkin First Narayever Congregation Toronto Ontario
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander Solel Congregation Mississauga Ontario
Rabbi Hector (Tate) Epelbaum Temple Beth Shmuel, the Cuban Hebrew Congregation Miami Beach Fl
Rabbi Daniel Epstein Fair Lawn NJ
Rabbi Rachel Esserman Endwell NY
Rabbi Ted Falcon, Ph.D. Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue Seattle WA
Rabbi S. Joan Glazer Farber Union for Reform Judaism Tarrytown NY
Rabbi David Feder Tree of Life Congregation Morgantown WV
Rabbi Michael Feinberg Executive Director, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition New York NY
Rabbi Dena A. Feingold Beth Hillel Temple Kenosha WI
Rabbi Eddie Feld Northampton MA
Rabbi Fern Feldman Kadima: A Progressive Jewish Community Seattle WA
Rabbi Susan Fendrick Newton MA
Rabbi Natan Fenner San Francisco CA
Rabbi Michael Fessler Congregation B’nai Tikvah Washington Township NJ
Rabbi Brian Field University of Wisconsin Hospital St. Mary’s Hospital Madison WI
Rabbi Hanoch Fields Fort Collins CO
Rabbi Arnold G. Fink Beth El Hebrew Congregation Alexandria VA
Rabbi Gary S. Fink Oseh Shalom Congregation Laurel MD
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone Boulder CO
Rabbi Nancy Flam Northampton MA
Rabbi Ellen Flax New York NY
Rabbi Randy Fleisher Central Reform Congregation St. Louis MO
Rabbi Jeff Foust Spiritual Life Center Bentley College Waltham MA
Rabbi Russel Fox Emanual Synagogue Oklahoma City OK
Rabbi Wayne Franklin Temple Emanu-El Providence RI
Rabbi Bob Freedman Israel Congregation Manchester VT
Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich Temple Bat Yam Stateline NV
Rabbi Dayle Friedman
Rabbi Dayle Friedman Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Joan S. Friedman Carleton College Northfield MN
Rabbi John Friedman Judea Reform Congregation Durham NC
Rabbi Stacy Friedman Congregation Rodef Shalom San Rafael Ca
Rabbi Stephen Fuchs West Hartford CT
Rabbi Roy Furman University Rabbi, DePaul University Chicago IL
Rabbi Ruth M. Gais NY Kollel at HUC-JIR Summit NJ
Rabbi Joyce Galaski Congregation Ahavat Achim Westfield MA
Rabbi Joseph H. Gelberman Senior Rabbi of the New Synagogue in New York City NY NY
Rabbi Jonathan H. Gerard Easton PA
Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg Pardes Hannah Minyan Ann Arbor MI
Rabbi Sharon Gladstone Director, Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center Los Angeles CA
Rabbi Carol Glass Dean of Students, The Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, member CCAR Lexington MA
Rabbi Gail Glicksman Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Wyncote PA
Rabbi Gary Glickstein Miami Beach FL
Rabbi Arnold S. Gluck Temple Beth-El Hillsborough NJ
Rabbi Robert J. Gluck University at Albany Albany NY
Rabbi Shai Gluskin Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Neal Gold Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple New Brunswick NJ
Rabbi Rosalind A. Gold Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Reston VA
Rabbi Michael Goldberg Nova Scotia Canada
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Becky says, "It is a sign of your disrespect and your animosity to the Jewish people that you refuse to accept the name Israel and even resort to the racist expression "Hebrew-speaking people" because you cannot stand the name Israel--the only legitimate name for the land."

I say "Hebrew speaking people" because it is a more exact way of referring to this nationality in a nation state comprised of two nationalities. There is nothing any more hateful in referring to the Hebrew speaking population than there is in referring to the English speaking population of Canada.

So referring to the "Hebrew speaking population" now makes me an anti-semite? Becky, I'm starting to think your insanity has no limits.
 

Washington Post editorial on Nader

Readers: here is an editorial from the Washington Post on Ralph Nader which I believe addresses quite a few of the above issues. --- Becky

Mr. Nader's Baiting
Saturday, August 14, 2004; Page A20


"The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States and meets with the puppet in the White House and then proceeds to Capitol Hill, where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced."

"Bush also repeated the catch phrase . . . 'committed to the security of Israel as a Jewish state,' which is repeated almost word-for-word again and again by Israel's sycophants and Capitol Hill puppets."


QUICK QUIZ: Which of the above quotations is lifted from the Web site of the white supremacist National Alliance and which was uttered this summer by independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader? It's a tough one. After all, both play on the age-old anti-Semitic stereotype of powerful Jews dominating politics and manipulating hapless non-Jewish puppets for their own ends. Yet if Mr. Nader is at all disquieted by the company he is keeping by using such metaphors, he sure isn't showing it. In a letter this week to the Anti-Defamation League, which had complained to him about his rhetoric, he responded with breezy indifference and more rhetoric that only compounds concerns.

Mr. Nader complains in his letter that the debate in Israel over Israeli policies is far more robust than the American debate over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In an interview last month on the "Democracy Now!" radio show he explained, "The U.S. government never connects with the deep and broad Israeli peace movement" -- a claim he elaborates on in the letter. And Mr. Nader has a point. Israel's shriller defenders often cry foul at even the mildest and most constructive criticism of the state. The problem with Mr. Nader's words are not that he criticizes either Israel's policies or American support for those policies. The problem, rather, is the language he deploys in doing so. In the radio interview he called John Kerry a "puppet politician who does not think in the best interests of the American people and the Israeli and Palestinian people." And in his letter he writes, referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, of "AIPAC's ditto machine on Capitol Hill" and the awed members of Congress "who, against their private judgment, resign themselves to sign on the dotted line."

This is poisonous stuff. And if Mr. Nader doesn't understand what such words actually mean, the less savory elements of American society certainly know how to read such code. But Mr. Nader, as always, is not backing down: "As for the metaphors -- puppeteer and puppets -- the Romans had a phrase for the obvious -- res ipsa loquitor," which means the thing speaks for itself. Indeed it does.

Quiz answer: The first quotation was Mr. Nader's.
 

Steve: Arabic is also an official Israeli language

20% of the Israelis are Arabs. Many of them speak Arabic which is an official language of Israel on the same par as Hebrew. So Steve--when you say the "Hebrew-speaking people" you are only referring to 80% of the Israelis. Why not just say "Israelis"?

Or is it "Israel" you cannot stand to say?
 

Back to the original point

Say it ain't so, Joe! From the Salinas Californian, August 14, 2004: "Mark Risley, Republican candidate for the 17th Congressional District, on Friday announced plans to open the headquarters for his campaign against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Sam Farr of Carmel. Risley said he plans to share office space with other competitors in the race, including the Green, Peace and Freedom and Libertarian Party candidates."

Joe, I know it's good to stick together and pool resources, but this guy is strictly nuts! Is this true, or just his fairy tale?
 

What's wrong with Risley?

WANTED: SOMEONE TO REFEREE Making the call

www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/sports/9400733.htm

Officiating shortage puts girls sports at risk

Aug. 14, 2004
By ED VYEDA
Herald Staff Writer

Few women officiate high school sports. There are only nine women working various games in Monterey County among the total pool of 400 officials.

The shortage is not just here. In the Santa Clara Valley, there are only 30 women out of 600. That's an overall figure of about 4 percent.

It's a problem -- big enough that Mark Risley of Peninsula Sports Management, which coordinates officials for the area's three high school sports leagues, said PSM might terminate its agreement to provide officials for two sports in the 2004-05 school year. There just are not enough officials -- men or women -- to handle the scheduled games.

At risk are field hockey, a girls-only sport played in the fall, as well as for boys and girls water polo, which are played in the fall.

"I don't want to see opportunities to play sports go down the tubes because of a lack of officials," Risley said. "But I am concerned I may have to call the schools and tell them I cannot provide officials in water polo and field hockey this (school) year because of the lack people willing to officiate these sports. I refuse to have a contract with the schools with inadequate officiating. I would rather just say I cannot do it."

Risley said he expected to make a decision soon.

"The most difficult thing is to recruit bodies," Risley said.

PSM is not alone. Robert Martinez, head of FerMar Corporation, which coordinates officials for high school sports for the Santa Clara Valley, said, "It's a challenge for all of us."

Apparently the biggest challenge is finding women to officiate girls' sports, which both Risley and Martinez believe would not only help them cover games, but benefit the sports, as well.

"We have to see more women getting involved for programs to be sustained," Martinez said.

Wendy Dailey, a local official who lives in Salinas, said women officials serve as role models to girls who play, or just watch, games.

"As a player, I never saw a female official," said Dailey, 39, a college basketball player who is now executive director of the YMCA in Salinas. "As in any profession, girls need more role models. You see women engineers, women doctors. You need to see women referees.

"I don't think women recognize it as an option," Daily said. "Mark (Risley) does a good job trying to recruit women. It's really difficult. They don't know there is a need for it."

There is.

"If I had women come out like the men do," Risley said, "it would be the easiest job in the world. But women are not stepping up."

Why not?

"It takes a certain person to be an official," said Dailey, who has officiated major college women's basketball, as well and high school girls games. "You have to have pretty thick skin."

While finding women officials is tough enough, retaining them is just as complex.

According to a study done by the National Federation of State High School Associations, women officials said they quit mostly because of career and job demands, but were far more likely than men to leave because of family issues.

While it is a constant challenge to have enough officials for all sports, both boys and girls, it becomes nearly impossible to find officials for some sports.

"If you ask 100 people if they ever have seen a field hockey game, or watched water polo, they would say no," Risley said.

Field hockey's potential pool of officials is further limited, Risley said, because "women play field hockey, men don't."

There are nine schools that play field hockey in the local league. Without PSM, Risley doubts the league will be able to find officials. FerMar probably isn't an option.

"Nobody is going to drive two hours in traffic from San Jose to Monterey to make $40," Risley said. "They work their own areas. And they have the same shortage I do."

When Martinez was asked if FerMar has a hard time finding field hockey officials, he just laughed.

"The numbers are down a little bit for everything," he said.

Martinez said it has been his experience that women do not remain involved in sports -- even the sport they may have played in high school or college -- after they are done competing.

"They don't come back," he said. "I wish I had an answer."

Risley said the answer is for women to get involved. Now.

"Title IX came along in the '70s and gave women a chance to play sports," he said. "Women had the opportunity, now give back."

Making the call • Contact information for those interested in high school sports officiating in Monterey County. • Where:701-A Forest Ave., Pacific Grove, 93950 • Phone:375-3301 • Fax:375-4029 : Peninsula Sports Management : Phone: Fax:
------
Ed Vyeda can be reached at evyeda (at) montereyherald.com and 646-4487.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Okaaaay... so he would like to see more female referees. Hardly altruistic, seeing as that's how he makes his money. But we still haven't heard from Joe on his thoughts. It seems strange that the P&F Party Candidate would join forces with such a pro-military/Homeland/Fatherland Security candidate.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

It is important that we do not join forces with one or the other bourgeois parties to defeat the other. While it is common to have to warn people about the dangers of supporting Democrats to defeat Republicans there is an equal danger in supporting Republicans or (to a lesser degree) forming alliances with them. I warned some involved here (both Robert and Joe) about the dangers of having anything to do with an event backing Arnold Schwarzenegger. I spoke at that event only to speak against Schwarzenegger. That event, in its own small way, helped Schwarzenegger get elected. Not something for those who were telling us to “loosen up? to be very proud of.

Joe, I would be very careful about any alliance with Republican Mark Risley. If it only means sharing space that is one thing, but silence when asked a question about Risley is another.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Political foes join forces to save on rent

www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2004/August/20/local/stories/04local.htm

August 20, 2004
By BRIAN SEALS
SENTINEL STAFF WRITER

MONTEREY — Since taking office, Rep. Sam Farr has garnered more votes than all of his opponents combined.

This year’s challengers have taken note.

In a novel cooperative effort, five candidates seeking to unseat the Carmel Democrat say they will share campaign office space.

Call it unity in opposition.

The idea came from Republican candidate Mark Risley of Pacific Grove.

Risley is running in part out of frustration with what he calls career politicians, something he considers Farr to be. He said incumbents enter elections with a huge financial advantage.

"This election should not be about who has the most money to buy the seat," Risley said by phone Thursday.

He said the financially disadvantaged contenders could share office space, if not always agreement.

"I’m tired of labels, I’m tired of the Democratic-Republican quarrel going on in Washington," he said.

Certainly, Farr carries the typical incumbent leverage when it comes to raising campaign funds. He had collected $412,761 as of June 30, according to opensecrets.org, with 52 percent of that coming from political action committees. By comparison, Risley raised about $29,000 and the other candidates did not raise enough to file reports.

Farr dismissed the move as a Republican ploy by Risley.

"This is a typical Republican strategy to get people to vote against Democrats," Farr said. "I don’t know why the Green Party or the Peace and Freedom Party would want to do that."

Sharing the campaign office in Monterey will be Green Party candidate Ray Glock-Grueneich of Santa Cruz, Libertarian candidate Joel Smolen of Pebble Beach, Peace and Freedom candidate Joe Williams of Live Oak and independent write-in candidate and political rapper David Munoz of Salinas.

Talk about politics making for strange bedfellows — a socialist Peace and Freedom party sharing space with a free-market Libertarian; a Green party candidate in the same room with a Republican without a security force on hand?

But a person coming by the office to get information on one candidate can find literature on all of them, Williams noted.

The candidates say losing rancor and debating ideas is furthered by the arrangement.

"I think this is a nonpartisan example of parties with different views working together," said Smolen, a biomedical hedge fund manager. "I think that is missing from the national campaign."

The cooperative effort also puts the incumbent on notice, said Williams. He said his goal in running is to somehow move Farr to the left.

"This sends a message to let Farr know he is opposed and lets the electorate know there are alternatives on the ballot," said Williams, an online rare books dealer.

Contact Brian Seals at bseals (at) santacruzsentinel.com.
------------------
If You Go

The grand opening of multiparty headquarters of five 17th Congressional District candidates will be noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 296 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. For information, call (831) 658-0411.

.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

According to the Sentinel, Joe Williams said to the Sentinel, "His goal in running is to somehow move Farr to the left."

It is an illusion to think that a war-monger like Sam Farr can be moved to the left. This should not be the goal. The goal should be to move the people to the left of Farr, the Democrats, and all of their policies by exposing the truth. In bringing more people to the left you build more resistance to war and the other capitalist policies of the Democrats and Republicans as well as building a political alternative. In building that movement and political alternative we may either force concessions from them or be met by more repression, but you will never force the Sam Farr's of the world to the left.

Ultimately the goal must be to build a political alternative to both the Democrats and Republicans that is capable of transforming our entire society.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

I did not yet respond to Becky Johnson's last comment against the Palestinians in this string so here I will do so:

Becky Johnson asks, "20% of the Israelis are Arabs. Many of them speak Arabic which is an official language of Israel on the same par as Hebrew. So Steve--when you say the "Hebrew-speaking people" you are only referring to 80% of the Israelis. Why not just say "Israelis"?"

Becky you are wrong, the Hebrew speaking and Arab (Palestinian) people have very different status and rights. I refer to Hebrew speaking people because it is a more exact definition of the nationality than calling them Israeli. In addition the term Israeli is linked to the racist Zionist state, a collective guilt that I do not wish to impose on the entire Hebrew speaking population.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Farr foes share office

www.mercurynews.com/mld/mcherald/9460774.htm

Common goal makes strange bedfellows

Aug. 21, 2004
By LARRY PARSONS
Herald Staff Writer

Big-tent politics are at play in a former golf equipment store in Monterey with campaign office space being shared by Republican, Peace & Freedom, Green and Libertarian party candidates for Congress.

The Lighthouse Avenue multi-headquarters even has room for signs and CDs touting David Muñoz, the Salinas write-in "politician rapper," also in the race for the 17th District congressional seat held by six-term incumbent Sam Farr, D-Carmel.

It's a new twist on office politics, the candidates say.

"I believe it's a historic event," said Republican candidate Mark Risley, a Pacific Grove businessman who offered to share the 3,000 square-foot building he leased with the other candidates.

"Maybe across the country, there's two guys sharing an office, but where is a Republican sharing with the Green Party, the Libertarians, the Peace & Freedoms and a write-in?" Risley said.

Farr views the office arrangement as "the usual Republican strategy of getting anyone to vote against the Democrats."

Farr compared it to cases where Republican contributors have pumped money into Ralph Nader's presidential campaign to draw votes away from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. The other candidates are playing into the GOP tactics, Farr said.

Despite having major differences over issues like taxes, defense, health care and education, the candidates running against Farr profess admiration for one another and eagerly agreed to share their headquarters.

"It provides an opportunity for citizens to meet not just one candidate, but all the candidates," said Libertarian candidate Joel Smolen, a Pebble Beach investment adviser. "In terms of getting along, they're all fine folks."

The candidates also view the office-share as political symbolism, displaying united opposition to what Peace & Freedom candidate Joe Williams described as "the juggernaut we are facing in Sam Farr."

"We all want to get Farr out, and this is one way to do it, to drum up a little publicity," Williams said.

Except for Farr, the candidates don't have a lot of campaign money so sharing office costs makes financial sense to them.

"There are economics of scale," Smolen said. "It's mostly a symbol of how nonpartisan politics can survive."

Saying Farr has spent an average of $700,000 in previous campaigns, Risley said, "Instead of money deciding elections, it's time to hear all sides."

"He's full of crap," Farr said. "I haven't spent anything like that."

According to the most recent Federal Elections Commission filings, Farr raised $412,761 and had $158,755 in cash, as of June 30. Risley, the only other candidate reporting campaign financial activity, raised $29,654 and had $571 in cash.

Risley and the other candidates will officially open their "cooperative" office at 296 Lighthouse Ave. from noon to 4 p.m. today.

Larry Parsons can be reached at 646-4379 or at lparsons (at) montereyherald.com.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Joe Williams,

You still have not answered questions regarding your alliance with Risley with anything but Sentinel articles. These articles make it seem like you and the Republicans and everyone else from left to right opposing Farr are just one big happy family of losers. Do not forget that Risley is a member of Bush's party. Your message will be lost on almost everyone unless you distance yourself from Risley.

As I said earlier:

"Joe, I would be very careful about any alliance with Republican Mark Risley. If it only means sharing space that is one thing, but silence when asked a question about Risley is another."

I still hear only silence.
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Steve's repeated charge of candidated Williams' "silence when asked a question about Risley" is ludicrous. Robert asked the following, "Joe, I know it's good to stick together and pool resources, but this guy is strictly nuts! Is this true, or just his fairy tale?"

Evidently, the Williams' campaign posted articles that confirmed that the info is true and which also included within them some of "Joe's thoughts". Thus the question has been answered. There were no other questions posed to candidate Williams. The wisdom of that decision can, and probably will, be debated, but to assert that there has somehow been "silence" is flat out wrong. How can there be "silence" when the story is even in the mainstream news? The decision does seem wise in terms of gaining some publicity. The headquarters grand opening was even on television news last night after the Olympics. Perhaps there'll be more.

If there's been any "silence", it's been Robert's unwillingness to justify his charge of "[Risley] is strictly nuts!". I'm sure it'd be easy to elaborate some criticisms of the Republican candidate, but so far, I haven't seen anything credible, just vague assertions from Robert that he's a "pro-military/Homeland/Fatherland Security candidate."

Let's raise the level of debate on this thread...
 

Re: Sam Farr's Open Record

Well, a couple of things wierd me out. First, if you look through his website, he is pro-everything except farr, whom he is anti everything. It's hard to figure out exactly what his beliefs are, other than that he is not the incumbent. And that he believes that we need more funding for the Patriot Act and Homeland Security. He even tries to court people on the left, as if he would be so independent that he would be a peace-loving Republican and always vote against Bush on security matters...

Second, as a resident of San Benito County, I have the *priviledge* of seeing him in a debate with most of the other candidates during the primary months ago. I have never seen a person act so strangely in a public forum before. He got up and left in the middle of one of the candidates' talking points, and then came back in and said something like "I'm sorry, that's something that Sam Farr would never do". There was just an impression that I was left with that he wasn't fully balanced.
 

Ralph Nader as David Duke?

Ralph Nader as David Duke? The ADL Wants you to Think so

- by Josh Frank

On Thursday August 20th, the Washington Post reported that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has branded Ralph Nader a "bigot", which is a furtive way of saying they think the independent candidate for president is a vile anti-Semite. Nader has come under attack from the ADL and their executive director Abe Foxman for suggesting that the US should proceed in a new direction regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

"The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States and meets with the puppet in the White House and then proceeds to Capitol Hill, where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced. The Washington Puppet Show should be replaced." Nader said in Washington DC forum titled "The Muslim Vote -- Election 2004".

Nader's crack at Ariel Sharon for being the "chief Israeli puppeteer", and his jab at George W. Bush for being Sharon's "puppet", didn't sit well with the pro-Zionist defense organization. Nader's comments provoked a rejoinder from the league which stated, "[Nader's] image of the Jewish state as a 'puppeteer,' controlling the powerful US Congress feeds into many age-old stereotypes which have no place in legitimate public discourse."

Of course Nader wasn't speaking of Israel's control over all US policies, but simply the US's special relationship with Sharon's occupying government. But as usual, the penalty for condemning the Israeli military establishment amounts to nothing less than being labeled a filthy Jew-hater -- for which it seems Ralph Nader is not even immune.

Standing fearlessly behind his claim, Nader told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! that, "The truth here is that there is no balanced determination. The U.S. government never connects with the deep and broad Israeli peace movement …They put 120,000 people in the square in Tel Aviv recently. You would think that the U.S. government was not a puppet it would support the deep Israeli peace movement -- which has been in touch with the Palestinian peace advocates and has worked out more than one accord … So, there should be a debate. The two candidates Kerry, and Bush, are both pro-Israeli military government."

Even if some progressives detest Ralph Nader's decision to run this year, pro-Palestinian advocates must admit that it is gratifying to finally hear such arguments made in the public arena -- for these criticisms have been political faux-paus for far too long. And certainly Nader is right to point out that little will change regarding the US and Israel if Kerry defeats Bush in November. As Kerry exclaimed to a Georgetown University crowd in January 2003, "Israel is our ally, the only true democracy in a troubled region...America has always been committed to Israel's independence and survival. We will never waiver."

Ralph Nader isn't notorious for backing down from a fight, and hard-line Zionists are always quick to throw the first sucker punch. So you can bet this will not be the last of the anti-Semitic accusations hurled at Nader by the ADL or other pro-Israel factions. It seems their only response to allegations of the US's critical support for the brutal Israeli government, or one's compassion for the Palestinian plight, is to label such individuals as malicious Jew-hating-bigots. It just shows how insignificant the ADL's charges have become. Ralph Nader is not David Duke. Even they want you to think so.
-------
Joshua Frank is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press.
 

Strange Officemates

Strange Officemates

www.coastweekly.com/issues/Issue.08-26-2004/election2004/Article.election1

Left and right unite to fight Farr from a new five-party headquarters.

By Jessica Lyons
August 26 - September 1, 2004

Mark Risley calls the grand opening of his new campaign headquarters “historic.? On Aug. 21, the Pacific Grove Republican businessman joined forces with Libertarian investment advisor Joel Smolen, Peace & Freedom bookseller Joe Williams, and Salinas rapper David Muñoz to hand out campaign buttons and flyers at the new office they are sharing. Volunteers stood on a street corner waving an American flag, and others barbecued in a parking lot. Attendees ate cake, drank wine, enjoyed homemade cookies that Risley’s mother brought up from San Luis Obispo, and chatted up the five very different candidates who want to oust six-term incumbent Sam Farr from the 17th District congressional seat.

It wasn’t politics as usual and seemed an unlikely strategy to win an election.

“It might be counterintuitive to a politician,? says Risley, who offered to share the 3,000-square-foot office space on Lighthouse Avenue with the other candidates. “But I’m not a politician. And it’s time someone ran against Sam Farr, who’s not a politician. I want every candidate in this race to have the opportunity for their voice to be heard.?

While their views on hot-button issues like education, taxes and military spending may clash dramatically, the five challengers seemed to get along swimmingly at the headquarters opening, posing with their arms around each other and chatting on cue for TV cameras. But while it was all smiles on Lighthouse Avenue, Farr’s campaign says the setup may be illegal.

Plasha Fielding, Farr’s campaign director, says the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act passed last year, outlaws such a joint effort.

“We are really clear about the new laws, and they are very clear that you can’t coordinate campaign efforts,? Fielding says. “It seems a little sketchy to me.?

Fielding also likened the shared campaign headquarters to Republicans writing big checks to Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign to draw votes away from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

“This is a way they can get media attention,? Fielding says.

Risley maintains that his campaign is on the up and up.

“We are trying to be in 100-percent compliance with the [Federal Election Commission] regulations,? he says. “This campaign already notified the FEC about the arrangement, and the account analyst assigned to this 17th District did not know the answer, and her supervisors did not know the answer,? as to whether or not Risley and the other four candidates could share campaign headquarters, he says.

“When I spoke with the FEC analyst this morning, she said this current activity is not on the books,? Risley says. “She said it must be taken up by the advisory committee. We will wait for a response on what the FEC’s ruling is.?

Risley says he expects a ruling from the FEC within 10 days. He says his campaign will comply with the decision.

“We will follow to the letter of the law. Is it my opinion that Mr. Farr is trying to harass us? I think you know the answer. Of course, that is exactly what he is trying to do. It’s amusing to me. But the democratic process will be served.?

Legality of the cooperative headquarters notwithstanding, the five challengers maintain a strangely united front when it comes to booting Farr out of office.

Green Party candidate Ray Glock-Grueneich is frank about the reasons for the arrangement.

“We are all challengers, none of whom have a realistic chance to win,? Glock-Grueneich says. “We all know that.?

But that didn’t stop the candidates from sharing their politics and bashing the incumbent over the weekend.

“I don’t think I’d say ‘anybody but Farr,’? says Peace and Freedom party candidate Joe Williams. “I’m to the left of Farr. There are obviously a couple of candidates to the right of Farr. But we’re all united in the desire to see Farr gone.?

Muñoz, the youngest candidate in the race who, if elected, would be the first rapper in Congress, says he can reach the youth vote.

“The average constituent is 30 years old,? says Muñoz, a 25-year-old from Salinas. “Sam Farr is 63. If the average person is 30, and the largest city in the District is Salinas, then we have an un-representative representative.

“I will be the next congressman for this area. People want a new way of leadership, and people listen to artists much more than they do to politicians.?

Risley, who says the 17th District deserves a congressman “who understands fiscal responsibility,? returns to his favorite anti-Sam barb.

“Every two years, Farr has spent an average of $709,000 on his campaign,? Risley says. “For me, this is a return to the voice of the people. Should you buy the seat, or should you earn it??

At press time, Farr was camping and could not be reached for comment. But on Aug. 21, Farr told the Monterey County Herald, “[Risley]’s full of crap. I haven’t spent anything like that.?

Fielding concurs. “That is not true,? she says. “I don’t know where on earth his numbers come from. In the 2002 election, over a two-year period of time, we only spent $565,000. We’re not even coming close to spending $700,000 this year.?

According to the most recent FEC filings, as of June 30, Farr had raised $412,761 and Risley had raised $29,654. The other four candidates did not report campaign financial activity.

“They keep talking about strength in numbers,? Fielding says. “Here’s a number: 101,632 votes in the 2002 election. We won by 68.8 percent of the vote.?

.
 

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