Lamont backs Israel
In case Lieberman supporters try to misinform the local press again.
The anti-Iraq War challenger in Connecticut's upcoming Democratic primary has issued strong statements backing Israel's military operations in Lebanon, but his campaign boosters are being painted as anti-Israel by supporters of Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Greenwich, Conn., businessman Ned Lamont, who holds a slight lead in the polls over Lieberman, told the Forward that he supports Israel's current operations in Gaza and Lebanon, and that he disagreed with the European Union's declaration that criticized Israel's actions as a "disproportionate" response.
"When we're dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas, who are both dedicated to the elimination of Israel, it's a little presumptuous of us to say what's proportionate and what's not from over here on this side of the Atlantic," Lamont said. "I don't think it's for the United States to dictate how Israel tactically defends itself."
In his interview with the Forward, Lamont said that he did not agree with calls for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.
"I think first and foremost, return the kidnapped soldiers, Hamas and Hezbollah," Lamont said. "And I think that would be sort of a prerequisite for everything that goes on beyond."
In addition to blasting Israel's enemies, the challenger blamed the current escalation on the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq and on the failure to be more engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "We took our eye off the ball," Lamont said. "The invasion of Iraq... we got bogged down. We didn't deal with the peace process in a serious way over the last five years — that's part of the reason that Israel is under attack today."
Lamont said that he supported burgeoning plans to put an international force on the border between Israel and Lebanon.