While campaigning in 2000, U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell called for a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem, said that Israel received too much funding from the United States, argued that President Clinton was too pro-Israel, and recalled receiving a condolence phone call from Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat after he injured himself during a visit to the region.
The revelations come from an article that appeared in the October/November 2000 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs about Campbell’s run for Senate in 2000 against Dianne Feinstein.
According to the article:
Smack-dab in the middle of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Tom Campbell, who is campaigning for Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s seat in the Senate, was busy meeting Southern California voters.
The congressman from Northern California met with Muslim voters Aug. 17 in the home of James and Darlena Price. Although he’s running on the Republican ticket, some progressives have described Campbell as to the left of corporate-backed Feinstein.
Campbell said he is for women’s rights, campaign reform, eliminating the use of secret evidence and sanctions on Iraq.
“I believe in fairness and if there is a state of Israel, there should be a state of Palestine,” he said. “Foreign aid should go to needy states and not where powerful influences want it to go. I would like to have the United States known as a just country, not just a powerful one.”
He also criticized President Clinton for being too one-sided in favor of Israel:
When asked his opinion on the status of Jerusalem, Campbell opined that both Israel and Palestine should claim Jerusalem as their capital.
“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but it’s wrong to say it can’t also be the capital of Palestine.”
Alluding to President Bill Clinton’s comment that he is considering moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, he stated, “In order to be helpful to the peace process, an intermediary shouldn’t criticize just one side.”
And he recalled a friendly exchange with terrorist leader Yasser Arafat:
As a member of the powerful House International Relations Committee, Campbell says he goes to trouble spots in Africa or the Middle East while many of his colleagues choose to go to Paris.
“The people of Palestine should have a nation and they should be able to trade with Jordan and I voiced this opinion on the House floor,” he said. “Conditions in Gaza are dehumanizing, particularly the cattle runs Gazans must walk through to exit or enter Gaza.”
He recalled a visit to Ramallah, Bethlehem and Gaza. He had bumped his head on a taxi door and the next day while he was in Damascus, Representative Campbell received a phone call from Yasser Arafat.
The Palestinian leader offered condolences that the congressman had been slightly injured in his country. Campbell’s reply was: “This makes me the first American to have shed blood in your country.”
Now, there are people who believe that United States foreign policy is too reflexively pro-Israel. If Campbell wants to run a campaign this year making the point that we need to rethink our relationship with Israel and have an open debate about it, so be it. Rep. Ron Paul, for instance, doesn’t run campaigns arguing that he’s a strong backer of Israel — he’s open about his views about U.S. foreign policy. But instead, Campbell is passing himself off as a strong supporter of Israel, and dismissing any questioning about his past record as “bizarre.”
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin has more, including details on Campbell’s praise for Alison Weir, a firece critic of Israel who has lately been pushing conspiracy theories about Israelis harvesting Palestinian organs.