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Top Jewish Dems ‘appreciate’ Olmert

Two top Jewish Democrats in Congress expressed their appreciation for Ehud Olmert and said it was time to end a controversy over his spat with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.). Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), who both chair committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, were quoted in this week’s Forward about Democratic anger at the Israeli prime minister, who accused Pelosi, speaker of the House, of misrepresenting him after she delivered a purported message from Olmert to Syria. The Bush administration seized on the disagreement and said Pelosi had acted in a naive and dangerous way. Democrats suggested Olmert was lying under pressure from the White House.In the Forward, Waxman — who joined Pelosi on her Mideast tour — said there had only been a minor difference of opinion. But Ackerman was tougher. “All the criticism of Pelosi is a stupid, idiotic political ‛bube moyse’ that the Republicans made up here in Washington,” he said, using a Yiddish expression for “old wive’s tale” and adding that Olmert had “kissed Bush’s ass.” On Friday, Ackerman and Waxman issued a joint statement saying it was time to put an end to the argument: “Democratic members were pleased to learn of the cordial conversation between Speaker Pelosi and the prime minister following her visit. That alone should be underscored to resolutely put an end to any confusion over this incident.”