New Kennedy: Ask Not What He’ll Do for Palestine
After Annie posted about the House Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Middle East recently, I asked her about the new Kennedy generation in the Congress, Joseph Kennedy III. He ran in Massachusetts last year and I happened to see the thirtyish redhead at a social gathering (of left-liberals, of course); and thought, He’s a nicelooking unassuming young man– fresh breeze! Some friends of mine gave money to his campaign.
Annie sent me the following note: “Minute 35:47 in the first video.” And gave me this transcript of Kennedy’s remarks:
“Madame chair [then he thanks everyone including witnesses]
The potential of a consensus government in Palestine and the effect that that would have on Israel and the broader peace process is of particular importance to my district back home in Massachusetts as well as to this to country’s foreign policy in a critical region at a critical time.
Last year I had the privilege of visiting our great friend Israel. I was deeply humbled by the incredible courage and dignity of Israelis who live, work, and raise families in the face of a daily existential threat. I saw first hand in communities like Sderot where kindergartens are reinforced by reinforced concrete and gas filtration systems. I saw it across the country where bus stops doubled with bombshells and enhanced security is a way of life protecting innocent civilians from the threat of terror. Despite the complexities of an entrenched and painful conflict I hold out hope as so many others do. But for that to happen Israel needs a credible partner at the negotiations table. I look forward to hearing your thoughts today about how we can move that process forward.”
A hearing on Palestinian reconciliation and the young Kennedy talks all about the frightened Israelis. And damns Hamas even as we are talking with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. “Other congresspeople were much worse,” Annie wrote.
So the great progressive tradition is alive in the Northeast. I see that Kennedy said the following when he got the cherished appointment in January:
The 4th Congressional District Democrat said there’s no region that plays a greater a role in the nation’s safety than the Middle East.
He also said a strong US-Israel relationship must remain the cornerstone of those efforts and will be a top priority for his work on the committee.