Nadler: There are Serious Questions About the War, But Israel is NOT one of Them

Jun 16, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a Democratic hearing on the Downing Street Memo held yesterday by House Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers and other Democratic members, one of the witnesses made false and offensive allegations about Israel’s role in the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq.

Congressman Nadler was not present during the disturbing testimony of former CIA agent Ray McGovern, but hearing of his comments today, Nadler released the following statement:

“There are serious questions to be answered about the decision to go to war in Iraq – and Congress is right to be asking them – but none of those questions fairly involve Israel.  There is no place in this debate for maligning Israel and defaming our support of her ongoing struggle for security and peace.

“The witness’s statement that the United States went to war for Israel is absolutely untrue and has no conceivable basis in reality.  The witness was quite clearly bringing a lamentable personal bias to bear on an unrelated issue, and I would urge those present at the hearing to disregard the whole of his specious testimony on the subject.

“There is going to be a lot of discussion of the merits and conduct of the war in Iraq, and it is essential that people on all sides of this debate denounce scurrilous accusations against Israel. 

“The United States went to war in Iraq for its own reasons – good or bad – and Israel had nothing to do with it.  But sadly, it is now clear that people motivated by anti-Semitic or anti-Israel animus will seek to use this debate to make Israel the scapegoat.  All people of goodwill must resist this poison.”