Amman, Jordan/Ramallah - In general, the most important thing for my neighbors is to find a replacement for the present Republican rubber-stamp to the hawkish policies of President Bush. But for Palestinians and Arabs, whether a Democratic Congress can be more sympathetic to Palestinians is questionable.
Support for Israel has usually been a biparitsan issue in Washington generally, and on Capitol Hill in particular. Jewish voters tend to wield more influence the Democratic party, but on the other hand, the Christian right is a major source of power to Republicans. Personally, if one of the two religious groups is affecting Middle East policy, I prefer Jewish-Americans, many of whom understand the complexities of the region.
While Congress has been and undoubtedly will continue to be pro-Israel, past administrations have shown a little less blind support. Bush Sr. and James Baker were willing to take on (for a short period of time) the pro-Israel lobbby, and they succeeded in getting the Madrid Conference for peace. President Clinton showed sensitivity to the Palestinians and made efforts to understand Palestinians, to visit Palestine and to receive Palestinians, although he wasn't able to keep his promise to not point fingers regarding the collapse of Camp David II. (Most now believe that all three parties -- Americans, Palestinians and Israelis -- were responsible in varying degrees for that failure, the price for which we are paying still.)
Overall, the preemptive policies of the Republicans and the hawkish international policies in general, make most people in this part of the world today prefer any party but Bush junior Republicans.
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