Top Democrats promoted dialogue with Iran and Syria in addresses to Reform Jewish leaders. The last day of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism’s annual Consultation on Conscience took place Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Most of the speakers were Democrats. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, defended her decision to meet earlier this month with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is isolated by the Bush administration for backing terrorists. “This administration does not want to have a dialogue, and everyone is engaged in dialogue,” Pelosi said to applause from the assembled Reform social activists. She said she had “no illusions” about Assad, and conveyed to him the need to stop backing Hamas and Hezbollah if he wants to end his country’s isolation. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who is running for her party’s presidential nomination, outlined her plans to roll back the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq. Iran and Syria should play a role in any international effort, Clinton said. “You do not try to forge agreements with those with whom you are already in agreement,” she said to applause.
Dems tout Iran-Syria dialogue to Reform