Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pelosi Booed At AIPAC

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is widely recognized as a strong, second-generation supporter of Israel, but the scattered boos she heard during an appearance before the Israel lobby's most committed activists highlighted their conflicting emotions over the war in Iraq.

The cool response Tuesday from about 6,000 members of the non-partisan American Israel Public Affairs Committee gathered in Washington for their annual policy conference came after she characterized the war that many of them support as a failure.

Just minutes before, the House Republican leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, had received a standing ovation from the same crowd when he defended the war as a key part of the global war on terrorism vital to the survival of the United States and Israel. ...

Pelosi first stressed the U.S.-Israel partnership. "When Israel is threatened, America's interests in the region are threatened. America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakable,'' she said to an ovation.

But when she talked about Iraq, the reaction was different. "Any U.S. military engagement must be judged on three counts -- whether it makes our country safer, our military stronger, or the region more stable. The war in Iraq fails on all three scores," she said to some boos amid some applause.

Boehner, on the other hand, was cheered when he said, "Who does not believe that failure in Iraq is not a direct threat to the state of Israel? The consequences of failure in Iraq are so ominous for the United States and Israel you can't even begin to think about it."

Among the speakers at the three-day event was Vice President Dick Cheney, who on Monday used his appearance to attack Pelosi's proposed Iraq spending legislation, which seeks a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by late 2008.


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