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Rick Lazio on War & Peace

Former Republican/Conservative Representative (NY-2)


Allowing UN condemnation of Israel was great mistake

LAZIO: When the US failed to use its veto, in the UN Security Council [which condemned Israelís response to Palestinian protests] - that was one of the great mistakes of the last few years, and I spoke out immediately. Iím sure that Mrs. Clinton had a chance to speak with the president about this, to urge him not to use that veto. I would love to know what the context of the discussion was.

Q: Did you urge him to use it?

CLINTON: That was what I urged my husband to do. He made a different decision

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Unequivocal support for security of Israel

Q: In recent weeks, scores of people have been killed in the Middle East. In view of whatís happened, do you think there should be a Palestinian state now?

CLINTON: Only as part of a comprehensive peace agreement. Thatís always been my position, that [it should] guarantee Israelís safety and security and the parties should agree at the negotiating table. A unilateral declaration is absolutely unacceptable and it would mean the end of any US aid.

LAZIO: Thatís a change of heart for Mrs. Clinton, because back in 1998 you called for a Palestinian state. You undercut the Israeli negotiating position. The people of New York want to have somebody who has a consistent record. For eight years I have been consistent and strong in my support for the security of the state of Israel. Without equivocation. Without a question mark next to my name.

CLINTON: There is no question mark next to me. Thereís an exclamation point. I am an emphatic, unwavering supporter of Israelís safety and security.

Source: (X-ref Hillary) NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Hillary cavorts with terrorists & encourages Hamas violence

LAZIO [to Clinton]: When you accept contributions from people that support Hamas, when theyíre your guests at the White House, when you cavort with terrorists, you send a message to the Palestinian Authority that encourages violence to be used as a tool to achieve political ends.

Q: Wait a minute. Didnít your presidential candidate, George W. Bush, also accept contributions?

LAZIO: Itís absolutely wrong for all. The difference, though, on top of receiving the contributions, is that people who support the Hamas terrorist group, have been invited and courted at the White House, which I think is wrong.

CLINTON: I learned that an organization claimed credit for sponsoring a fund-raiser I attended; an organization whose members have made statements that I find offensive and have condemned. And as soon as I found out the facts, I returned all of the money that was raised because I did not want anyone to have a false impression about my strong support for Israelís safety and security.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Move embassy to Jerusalem now; Hillary wonít do it

LAZIO [to Hillary]: Itís very hard to accept a claim of consistency [on Israel] when you called for a Palestinian state with full military powers. Itís difficult to accept that you are a consistent supporter when you stand on the sidelines while Suha Arafat issues a blood libel suggesting that Israelis have been orchestrating an attack on Palestinian women and children with poison. Itís hard for us to imagine youíve been a consistent supporter when you refused to support the law which says that we should move our embassy to Jerusalem, not next year, but right now. For eight years Iíve wanted the embassy to be placed in Jerusalem. CLINTON: My positions for more than 20 years have been to do everything I could to support Israel and to increase the relationships between the US and Israel. Iíve worked on everything from the National Council of Jewish Womenís program to bring a preschool instruction program for children of the US, to speaking out, time and time again, about violence and terrorism.
Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

No support for Palestinian state

Q: Did the U.S. do right to abstain from the UNís anti-Israel resolution?

CLINTON: We should have vetoed it. It was one-sided. It did not address the violence that I believe is fomented by Arafat. It did not address what Israel has tried to do, such as pulling out of Lebanon. Weíre seeing the capture of Israeli soldiers, the desecration of Josephís tomb. Itís imperative that Arafat end the violence and get back to negotiating. The US remains the guarantor of Israelís security, and in the Senate, I would certainly be a strong voice for doing whatever was required. Iíve also called for conditioning aid to the Palestinians on their willingness to end violence, on their willingness to rid their textbooks of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements.

LAZIO: I did issue a statement immediately expressing my strong disappointment with America not using its veto power. I do not support call for a Palestinian state. My record is one of 100% consistency for the security of the state of Israel.

Source: (X-ref Hillary) Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Pollardís pardon is for only the President to decide

Q: Jonathan Pollard, the American naval officer who betrayed the country, was sentenced to life for espionage and treason. The secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the director of the FBI and the head of the CIA have all said do not pardon him. Do you support clemency for Mr. Pollard?

CLINTON: What Pollard did was a terrible crime against the US. It was a great breach of trust and national security and he plead guilty, was convicted and is serving a very long prison term. The question for me is around the due process issues concerning the way that he was sentenced. It is something that I have questions about and I believe that fair-minded people should ask similar questions. There was secret evidence put in before the court that has never been revealed.

LAZIO: The only person who is in a position to make that decision and the only person whoís got the authority to actually issue a pardon is the president himself.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Supported intervention in Kosovo

Lazio has not been particularly involved in foreign policy, but he has been among the House Republicans most supportive of the president on international issues. For example, he supported the presidentís intervention in Kosovo last year.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Follow Israelís lead on independent Palestine

Lazio repeatedly spoke yesterday about his support for moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to recognize the city that Israel claims as its capital. He stayed away from more controversial topics, such as whether there should be an independent Palestinian state. ďI am going to [follow] the lead of Israel on this,Ē Lazio said when asked about the topic. ďI question whether or not a Palestinian state is sustainable, considering the security concerns of Israel.Ē
Source: Associated Press in NY Times May 26, 2000

Israel: Supports strong partnership

Congressman Lazio has long been an ardent supporter of Israel, Americaís only democratic ally in the Middle East, and believes that the US and Israel have much to gain by maintaining their strong partnership. He is a member of the Republican Israel Caucus, and has been a consistent supporter of foreign aid bills and the continuation of U.S. aid to Israel. He has worked closely with AIPAC and other US-Israel organizations, and took the lead in opposing possible cuts in foreign aid to Israel in 1995.
Source: Issues Briefing, www.lazio.com May 4, 2000

Supports military action against Iraq