Pelosi: Bush worsened Israel’s situation

Nancy Pelosi said the Bush administration’s policies have made Israel’s security situation worse.

Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke exclusively to JTA after returning from 60th anniversary commemorations in Israel.

The California Democrat said that in its 7 1/2 years, the Bush administration had failed Israel on two fronts: in neglecting Iran while it developed nuclear weapons and in pressing Israel to allow Palestinian elections to go forward in 2006 with the Hamas terrorist group on the ballot.

“It’s extraordinary that the United States would urge Israel to accept an election in which a terrorist organization would participate,” Pelosi said. “I think it made matters worse for Israel.”

On Iran, she said, “Seven-and-a-half years could have been used better to have a more robust diplomacy, with sanctions relating to the economy, to culture, to even aspects of the political realationshiop as well. So now everyone is saying we have to act because there’s not much time left. There was plenty of time that the administration has squandered.”

Pelosi said that the issues of Hamas and Iran came up repeatedly in her delegation’s meetings with top Israeli officials.

“On two of the major concerns, or manifestations of concern in israel – the threat of Hamas and the threat of Iran developing a weapon of mass destruction – the administration made matters worse,” she said.

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