Edwards Denies Reports of Calling Israel A Threat to World Peace

Where’s You Tube when you need them? Earlier in the week conservative blogs had a lot of buzz around about this report in Variety:

The aggressively photogenic John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the “I” word — Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close.

The Edwards campaign has responded with a denial:

John Edwards’ presidential campaign wants to make it clear that he doesn’t consider Israel a threat to world peace…

Edwards’ spokesman Jonathan Prince says the article is erroneous. He says Edwards says one of the greatest short-term threats to world peace is Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

I am curious as to why it took this long to get a response considering how Edwards has seen first hand the effects of allowing controversies to go without a response, both as John Kerry’s running mate and following the hiring of Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. Fortunately for Edwards it doesn’t appear that this is doing any serious harm, possibly as he already has a reputation for strongly supporting Israel.

At moments like this it would be helpful if the moment was captured on You Tube so we could see the exact statements in context. My suspicion is that Edwards discussed the risks of world peace if Iran acquired a nuclear weapon, which could lead to an Israel attack and spread of war. This is a realistic scenario and plausible answer to a question regarding threats of war.

I wonder if the Variety reporter, not accustomed to the nuances of political discussion, gave an erroneous impression that Edwards was placing the blame on Israel. Regardless, it makes more sense to review his position on Israel based upon his multiple statements in support as opposed to relying too much on a single report. We all know how the right wing noise machine loves to repeat “quotations” to attack a candidate without regard to their accuracy.


  1. 1
    janet says:

    I just saw Edwards on the Today Show and he was not asked about this so maybe it is nothing compared to the Obama–Clinton media debate.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It doesn’t look like this attack is gaining traction against Edwards.

    Even more important than the Today Show, as far as I know the right wing media hasn’t picked this up. Often these attacks start with the right wing blogs, talk radio, and then outlets like Fox picking them up, with them later spreading thru the rest of the news media. If it stays limited to the right wing blogs the attacks won’t matter.

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