WASHINGTON - Friday night, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi – who is expected to be House Majority Leader if the Democrats achieve a majority in the upcoming November polls for Congress – said that a party change in the House of Representatives wouldn't affect support for Israel.
Pelosi, one of the leading opponents to the war in Iraq in Congress, is the new up-and-coming American in politics, and a nightmare for George Bush. A tough and experienced politician, she knows how to play the game in Washington.
In an internet discussion with the pro-Israel lobby to the Democratic party, Pelosi emphasized that "a strong relationship between the United States and Israel has long been supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
"America's commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering, regardless of which party is in power. However, the war in Iraq has made both America and Israel less safe," she declared.
Nancy's Pelosi's record on Israeli-related topics is perfect. She expresses interest in the situation in the country and has always participated in votes related to Israel. She has not harmed Israeli interests.
Prior to elections in the Palestinian Authority, for example, she voted in favor of a Congress initiative not to support Hamas and other terrorist organizations' participation in the elections. The Bush government thought otherwise, and the result is known.
In conversations with friends, she says that the creation of the State of Israel is one of the miracles of the twentieth century.
Nonetheless, she does not support Jewish settlements in the territories, and like most American politicians, including President Bush, agrees with the formal US stance in support of land-for-peace.
Regarding Iran, Pelosi's stance is close to Israel's. In a speech she gave at the AIPAC 2005 yearly conference, Pelosi said that "for too long, leaders from both parties haven't done enough" to struggle against Russia and China who are providing Iran with technological information on nuclear issues and missiles.
She responded to a Ynet writer's question regarding her intended treatment of the problem, in the event of becoming House Majority Leader.
"If evidence of participation by other nations in Iran's nuclear program is discovered, I will insist that the Administration use, rather than ignore, the evidence in determining how the US deals with that nation or nations on other issues," she said.
It's too early to say for sure, but if, as voter polls indicate, Democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives on Nov. 7, President Bush can expect his last few years in the White House to be a struggle, even if Democrats don't push for impeachment.
The US Congress serves as a check on presidential power and so, if Pelosi becomes House Majority Leader, it's safe to assume that he will be checked: Since he can't make budget changes or pass legislation without Congress approval, Pelosi will make it harder for him to increase spending in Iraq.
Nonetheless, Pelosi already emphasized that she would not push for impeachment. The last thing she wants is for disgruntled Republican voters to make an extra effort to come to the polls or to distance independent voters who may think that she's only out for revenge instead of out for the American voter.
Barring surprises, Pelosi need only wait patiently for a few days before going down in history as the first House Majority Leader.
With all due respect to Condoleezza Rice, according to the US Constitution, the House Majority Leader is the third person in the presidential hierarchy. If both president and vice-president are incapacitated, the majority leader takes command. Secretary of State is sixth on the list.
With almost 20 years of experience in the House of Representatives, and four years as House Democratic Leader, Pelosi has managed to exert a surprising amount of control over a party that, unlike the GOP, is known for pluralism and heterogeneousness.
Pelosi represents perhaps one of the most liberal districts in the United States – San Francisco. However, she has started to lean towards the center of the political spectrum and it seems that, despite Republican horror stories to Jewish voters, most of them intend to vote Democrat. They tend, like Pelosi, to oppose the war in Iraq and support Israel.