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November 6, 2000
Nader, the only choice.
By Ahmed Amr.

If you want to understand how American Foreign policy in the Middle East is constructed, just watch these elections. Because that is where American politicians cook the poison for the Palestinians. That is where they decide whether Bosnians and Kosovars or Chechens or Kurds or East Timorese are worth protecting from genocide. Witness the Senate campaign in New York between Hillary Clinton and Lazio. The pandering for the ethnic vote in New York City has reached new lows. Both candidates are discussing nothing but Israel.

Israel a nation of 5 million gets more attention than a billion plus Chinese. Israel gets more attention than all the folks in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Canada our largest trading partner which borders Upstate New York is not a worthy subject. Mexico which has just emerged from 70 years under a one party system is not a blip on the radar screen. The most insidious and alarming development is that to fill campaign coffers and get out the Jewish vote, the two major parties are willing to cast another American ethnic group out of the political process.

Just how low will an American Senate candidate stoop to get the ethnic vote in New York? When Hillary Clinton is a candidate, it becomes a real sordid affair. An affair where the two candidates return 'Arab' or 'Muslim' money because it is suspect. Both candidates are over pandering to one ethnic group. The result is that another ethnic group is exiled out of the two party system. What exactly is the difference between those southern politicians who promised 'segregation forever' and the current sorry crop of candidates who overtly appeal to ethnicity and religious affiliation.

This time the politicians have gone too far in cowering to the Israel Firsters. Hillary might get the Manhattan vote. But she and Lazio obviously have not visited Brooklyn or Queens lately. To put it mildly, it is not Manhattan and it is not Little Rock.

Gore and Bush have also pledged their loyalty to Israel, right or wrong. Watching this campaign, It becomes crystal clear that Nader and the Green Party are the only choice worthy of a vote by Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans.

The corporate media blackout still has so many voters believing this is a two man race. But there is a third candidate, a man who does not bow to the special interests, domestic or foreign. A man who has called Gore a coward for not speaking up about the lethal carnage Israel is inflicting on the Palestinians. That man is Nader.

Nader stands for clean and accountable government. The kind of government that will not pander to one ethnic group and shun another. The kind of government that will create a healthy political environment in which all Americans, no matter their heritage, are encouraged to participate.

This coming Tuesday, let our voices ring loud and clear for Nader. Let us join a movement that will revitalize this great democracy of ours and make it truly inclusive of all. Let Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans join the millions of their fellow citizens who will vote for a political renaissance of clean government that answers to all and is accessible to all.

Arab-Americans should be wary of any illusions that these two parties will stop shunning us. We have been cast aside and made to feel foreign in our own country. We have been defamed in public and labeled unworthy of political participation. Our concerns are met with disdain by both Democrats and Republicans.

This election, we have been left with two choices. We can vote for Nader or not vote at all. We can let the Republican and Democratic party hacks treat us as outcasts or we can vote to cast them out. In California, in New York, in Michigan and Ohio, we will go out and get the vote for Nader. Wherever you are living in these United States of America, whatever your ethnicity, vote for a candidate who will make our country a better and stronger union. A union that does not have an ethnic underclass. A union in which our children and their children will be treated as equal and worthy citizens before the law and the lawmakers. We are all ethnic Americans, part of an unbelievable experience in the annals of human history. We Americans are children of every race and every culture. Let us vote for candidates who understand that we will no longer be treated as an unwanted orphan constituency by any candidate from any party.

At times like these, when our community is under political quarantine, the American dream fades a bit. Its easy to feel let down. A few of our community leaders have endorsed Bush or Gore. These candidates are the most pathetic presidential candidates in modern history. Its like a race between Dan Quayle and his twin brother. Bush and Gore are creatures of a party machine that caters only to those willing to pay serious coin for the privilege of partaking in the process.

America needs radical campaign finance reform. And soon. Even though Nader will lose, his support will not go unnoticed. A new party will be born, one that welcomes all Americans with open arms. Nader has served us well as a consumer advocate, as an advocate for the environment. He is an unimpeachable civil libertarian. He is the only candidate who has the courage to distinguish between American National interests and Israel's interest. He promises campaign finance laws that will take the government out of the hands of the corporate elite and the special interest lobbies and restore it to the people. Nader is about serious change. He will pay attention to the Middle Class and the homeless and the vast underclass of working people who are not making a living wage. You will find no better value for your vote. I hope every voter gets some media exposure to Nader. His straight talk clears the mind, his genuine concern for our country inspires us to believe that we can take back our government, any time we want. Vote early and vote often.



  January 3, 2001