Issa Defends Record on Mideast

By E.J. Kessler

Published June 27, 2003, issue of June 27, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Rep. Darrell Issa, the San Diego Republican who is funding the recall drive against Governor Gray Davis, says his record on Israel is solid, and Democratic efforts to depict him as a pro-Palestinian extremist are “a smear.”

Issa, a third-generation Lebanese-American, met with Yasser Arafat in April along with two other congressman in an attempt to get him to stop blocking Palestinian reforms. He defended that effort as “appropriate,” arguing that the administration’s opposition to contacts with Arafat effectively left the Palestinian leader in the dark about “what he must do” to satisfy American aims.

Issa said a speech he had made in Beirut in October 2001, calling for Hezbollah to disband, had been distorted to appear pro-Hezbollah in Lebanese and Iranian newspaper accounts. As proof, he provided an Associated Press report, which stated that Issa had “told reporters that for the United States to remove Hezbollah from its list of terrorist organizations, the Lebanese-based group must renounce terrorism and confine itself to its humanitarian and parliamentary activities.”

On domestic issues, Issa described himself as “pro-life” and a “supporter of the Second Amendment,” but said he had never sought to overturn California’s gun control laws. He said he has never supported offshore drilling, but said the country might legitimately tap offshore oil resources “as a strategic reserve in time of need.”

He said that his candidacy is about “making California a safe place for business and jobs” and said that Davis had stinted the education system in his budget. He said that more than a million Californians agreed with him that Davis had cooked the state’s books.

“If you want to call that a vast, right-wing conspiracy, 30% of them are Democrats,” he said.






Find us on Facebook!
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.