Nader Lets Loose With Anti-Israel Tirade

, | updated: 16:44

Independent U.S. presidential candidate and environmental crusader Ralph Nader is seeking the support of various groups - and one of them appears to be the Muslim-American population. As broadcast on the American cable network C-Span this week, Nader launched a scathing attack on Israel, saying that Israel is a puppeteer and that American Presidents are the puppets:

"What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government. The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show."

Nader made this speech as part of a conference sponsored by the Council for the National Interest entitled, "The Muslim Vote in Election 2004." The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced at the conference the results of a survey of Moslem voters, showing that 26% favored Nader - more than five times the amount of support he has received in other nationwide and statewide polls.

Nader's presence on the ballot in the upcoming election is expected to harm the candidacy of John Kerry, the all-but-assured Democratic Party candidate. So far, Nader is on the ballot in six states - including, most notably, the swing state of Florida - running on behalf of the Reform Party. He is likely to be on the ballot in a handful of other states as well, although Kerry supporters are waging legal battles to prevent this. Nader's strong support in the Muslim community may be a factor in both his personal efforts to be listed on state ballots and in the national election itself.