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Lieberman interest { August 23 2002 }

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>August 23, 2002
>Lieberman's Conflict of Interest?
>by William Hughes
>On May 2, 2002, the Senate of the U.S. passed a notorious pro-Israel
>Resolution (S. Res. 247), with respect to the Mid-East controversy. Its co
>author was Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT). In pushing the measure, he
>barked, "You are either with us or the terrorists" (Washington Times, May
>3, 2002). Who is this "us" he is talking about?
>The measure falsely equated the U.S.'s post-9/11 fight against terrorism
>with Israel's brutal occupation of the Palestinian people in the occupied
>West Bank and Gaza. It also condoned Israel's vicious military attacks on
>Jenin, Ramallah and Bethlehem.
>Black's Law Dictionary (5th Ed.) defines a conflict of interest as a "Term
>used in connection with public officials and their relationship to matters
>of private interest or gain to them."
>The Senate Code of Official Conduct, "Conflict of Interest," Rule 37, Par.
>2, states:
>"No Member...shall engage in any outside business...which is inconsistent
>or in conflict with the conscientious performance of official duties."
>The legislative history of this provision says, "It should be read to
>prohibit any outside activities which could represent a conflict of
>interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest (See, Senate Ethics
>Manual, Sele ct Committee on Ethics, United States Senate, p. 66).
>The Congressional Directory, (107th Congress, 2001-2002), list the
>official biography for Lieberman. It is silent about his membership or
>association with any Zionist organizations or his adherence to a Zionist
>political ideology.
>Lawmaking is built on trust. Lieberman has an obligation to his fellow
>senators to disclose fully his agenda to the members of the Senate. Almost
>all elected political entities abide by these ethical rules, which are
>centered on revealing any conflict of interest, appearance of a conflict
>of interest, prejudice, or bias.
>Like all members of the Senate, Lieberman is required to file an annual
>"Financial Disclosure Statement" with the Secretary of the Senate. In his
>May 15, 2001 submittal, he again failed to mention any official membership
>in any Zionist organizations. Although, he does disclose his significant
>connection, as an advisory board member, to three Israeli-based non-profit
>organizations: "The Peres Center for Peace" at Tel Aviv; "Begin-Sadat
>Center for Strategic Studies" at Bar-Ilan University, and the "Natural
>History Museum," located in Jerusalem.
>Lieberman's membership in these Zionist affiliated groups does raise, on
>its face, an appearance of a conflict of interest on his part with respect
>to an issue, like S. Res. 247, since it advances the cause of Zionism
>and/or Zionist Israel. If he is in fact a Zionist, then the conflict
>between his public duties and his private interests becomes even more
>The Anti-Defamation League, a hot air organ for Israel, defines Zionism
>as, "The guiding nationalist movement of the majority of Jews around the
>world, who believe in, support and identify with the State of Israel."
>Does Lieberman subscribe, as a matter of personal political philosophy, to
>the ADL's definition of Zionism? If so, shouldn't he put that fact on the
>public record, whether he is a card carrying Zionist or not?
>Actually, Zionism is an alien based political movement, global in scope,
>racially restrictive, with its spiritual headquarters in Tel Aviv, and not
>Washington, D.C. It aspires to a land grabbing "Greater Israel."
>On another disturbing front, Israel Radio (Kol Yisrael), reported on Oct.
>3, 2001, that Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, had boasted at a
>Cabinet meeting, "I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry
>about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America,
>and the Americans know it."
>In light of the above, I feel the Senate had a right to know any relevant
>information about Lieberman's Zionist political ideology, memberships, and
>associations in order to weigh the value of endorsing or opposing his pro
>Israel resolution. He should have, at a minimum, disclosed to the Senate
>any and all of his Zionist connections, and then, if appropriate, recused
>himself on the matter of S. Res. 247.
>Our country is at high risk for terrorist attacks, partly, because of its
>flawed policy of giving unconditional support to a hawkish Israel,
>presently led by a man universally-loathed for his brutality. This policy,
>unfortunately, also includes unfairly demonizing and punishing Muslims and
>Arabs leaders in general; for example, the economic sanctions against
>Iraq, which have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent
>Iraqi children, fall into the latter category (CASI, 01/02).
>During the 2000 election, Lieberman received $86,000 from Pro-Israel PAC
>contributors towards his Senate re-election campaign, (See, Janet McMahon,
>WRMEA, Oct/Nov. 2000 issue). What effect did that financial contribution,
>and others like it, have on his voting record and on his hidden political
>Let me make this clear: Lieberman's religion is no one's business but his
>own. His politics, however, and any foreign links to it, are the public's
>business. I am pro-America. I am also an anti-Zionist and against Sharon's
>colonial policies.
>S. Res. 247, which passed the Senate by a 94-2 vote, will only increase
>the hostility towards America in the Arab and Muslim world. It also, more
>importantly, will send a green light to the blood stained Sharonists to
>continue their killing spree against innocent Palestinians. Thankfully,
>Senators Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) and Ernest F. Hollings (D S.C.) had the
>courage to oppose the Resolution.
>No special foreign-based interest, like Zionism, should ever be placed
>above the interest of our Republic. Lieberman must be forced to come clean
>with the Senate about all his Zionist connections. Senate Rule 37 requires
>it and so does the future security of our nation.
>William Hughes is a Baltimore attorney.
>He can be reached at:

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