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Washington Political Leaders Mourn Attorney David Ifshin

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David Ifshin, a Washington attorney and political lobbyist for Jewish cause, recently died of cancer.

Ifshin, 47, died at his home April 30 in Potomac, Md.

He graduated with honors in English from Syracuse University, where he was student body president. In the early 1970s, he became active in the anti-war movement.

At this time, John McCain, who spoke at Ifshin’s funeral and who is now a U.S. senator from Arizona, encountered Ifshin.

Ifshin led a group of anti-war students to the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in December 1970, while the Vietnam War still raged.

McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Hanoi for 5 1/2 years, heard Ifshin speak on Radio Hanoi. “My regard for David is more personal than political affinity,” McCain said at the funeral. “We remained partisans in different camps. What David taught me and, I suspect, what he taught a great many people, was how narrow are the differences that separate us in a society united in its regard for justice, in a country in love with liberty.”

Ifshin served as President Clinton’s general counsel during the 1992 presidential campaign.

Although Ifshin did not follow the president to the White House, he remained an informal adviser.

“He was the most passionate person I ever met,” Clinton said of Ifshin. “He was with me when there was almost not a campaign,” the president continued. “It never occurred to him to quit.”

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