OCTOBER 30—Ralph Nader took a swipe today at the Middle East policies of Al Gore, whom he accused of being “unsympathetic to Arabs,” at a press conference with foreign correspondents in Washington, D.C. The Green Party candidate may have been appealing to the growing number of Muslims in the United States, a group that now includes an estimated 2 million voters.
Nader, who is of Lebanese descent, heads tomorrow for Dearborn, Michigan—home to this country’s largest community of Arab Americans, which has become a key bloc in the tight Michigan race. The Rasmussen poll reports the contest in that state is tied, with Republican George W. Bush and Gore at 43 percent each and Nader garnering 5 percent. Polls of Arab Americans show Bush as the most popular presidential candidate, with 40 percent of the vote, followed by Democrat Gore with 28 percent, and Nader with 15.
Nader has had foreign policy troubles of his own. Last week The Forward, a Jewish weekly, criticized Nader and the Green Party for what the paper perceived to be “one of the most anti-Israel [statements] ever attributed to a party engaged in a presidential campaign. [Jewish activists] are demanding that Green Party Jews abandon Mr. Nader and his running mate, Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist whose mother is Jewish.”
The Forward cited a recent survey by the American Jewish Committee that showed some 3 percent of the nation’s 3 to 5 million Jewish voters planned to cast ballots for Nader.