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Clinton avoids mention of ‘Palestinian state

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly did not mention a “Palestinian state” in her message to an Arab-American conference.

In a videotaped message to the Arab American Institute presidential candidates’ forum in Dearborn, Mich., last weekend, the Democratic front-runner failed to mention “Palestine” or “Palestinian state,” according to Steve Clemons, a foreign policy analyst at the new America Foundation who reported the event on his blog, the Washington Note.

Clinton’s proxy at the conference, William Shaheen, a senior New Hampshire Democratic operative, assured the audience of Clinton’s support for Palestinian rights, Clemons said.

Few presidential candidates – none of them front-runners – directly addressed this year’s institute forum. Among the Democrats who spoke were U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, and from the Republicans, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

The previous such forum, in 2003, drew the gamut of Democratic candidates in person or in satellite-fed live addresses, as well as the chairman of President Bush’s campaign.

Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.), an Arab American, also addressed the conference and spoke of efforts in the Senate to press for greater U.S. engagement in creating a Palestinian state.

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