Ross, Jewish leaders talking; Stance on Darfur, Israel at issue.Byline: Shaun Sutner
WORCESTER - At-large City Council candidate Grace Ross Grace Ross (Worcester, Massachusetts; born 6 June 1961) is a former Green-Rainbow Party co-chair and 2006 Green-Rainbow Party candidate for governor of Massachusetts. Ross is a member of the State and Administrative Committees of the Green-Rainbow Party. , the former Green-Rainbow Party The Green-Rainbow Party is a political party in Massachusetts. It is the Massachusetts state affiliate of the Green Party of the United States. History
Establishment of official party status nominee for governor, must change her positions on Darfur and Israel before local Jewish leaders withdraw their criticism of her, a prominent Jewish leader said yesterday.
While Ms. Ross said her discussions with the Jewish activists earlier this week have opened a dialogue, she declined to say if she has changed her stance on whether genocide is occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Many Jews and progressive activists, as well as the Bush administration, hold the view that the violence is clearly genocide. In Massachusetts, liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats, British political party
Liberal Democrats, British political party created in 1988 by the merger of the Liberal party with the Social Democratic party; the party was initially called the Social and Liberal Democratic party. such as state Sen. Edward M. Augustus Jr. and Jewish lawmakers including Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, both of Worcester, have proposed legislation calling for the state to divest To deprive or take away.
Divest is usually used in reference to the relinquishment of authority, power, property, or title. If, for example, an individual is disinherited, he or she is divested of the right to inherit money. itself of its investments in Sudan.
The official Green-Rainbow position is that the violence in the northern African country is caused by several factors, but that calling it genocide is an anti-Arab racist mischaracterization.
Ms. Ross also did not say if she has modified her views on Israel, and Israel's strikes against the Hezbollah political and paramilitary organization Noun 1. paramilitary organization - a group of civilians organized in a military fashion (especially to operate in place of or to assist regular army troops)
paramilitary, paramilitary force, paramilitary organisation, paramilitary unit in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. But she tried to distance herself from a position paper she wrote during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict that likened the Jewish people to victims of battering who have themselves become batterers, saying, "I would never say Jews are batterers."
Robert S. Adler, a city lawyer and former president of the Jewish Federation A Jewish Federation is a confederation of various Jewish social agencies, volunteer programs, educational bodies, and related organizations, found within most cities in North America that host a viable Jewish community. of Central Massachusett who criticized Ms. Ross last week, said he came away from their 40-minute meeting at his office Tuesday feeling that Ms. Ross listened to the concerns he and Rabbi Jordan Millstein of Temple Emanuel expressed.
"We emphasized the importance of a change in her viewpoints," Mr. Adler said. "Whether it was productive depends on how she responds."
Mark Laserte, a member of the Green-Rainbow Worcester chapter and a supporter of Ms. Ross' council campaign, said Ms. Ross is misunderstood by those Jews who have criticized her. He pointed out that she was once on a committee to establish a Holocaust memorial in Boston.
"In reality, Grace is not a prejudicial prej·u·di·cial
1. Detrimental; injurious.
2. Causing or tending to preconceived judgment or convictions: person," Mr. Laserte said. "I can understand the concern the Jewish community has. At the same time, they should consider the full context. Grace is not running for Congress. She is running for City Council."
The Green-Rainbow platform calls for the end to all American military and economic aid to Israel. It also supports divestiture The breakup of AT&T. By federal court order, AT&T divested itself on January 1, 1984 of its 23 operating companies, which became known as the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs). from Israel state bonds and corporations that do business with Israel, and boycotts of Israeli academics and academic institutions.
Mr. Adler said Ms. Ross has distanced herself from the anti-Zionist positions of David Rolde, an official of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts and author of a 2006 position paper titled: "Stop the U.S. and Zionist War Against Sudan." Mr. Rolde was photographed holding a sign saying "Victory to Hezbollah" during a Statehouse state·house also state house
A building in which a state legislature holds sessions; a state capitol.
NZ a rented house built by the government
Noun 1. rally last year, at which Ms. Ross spoke.
"I've been meeting with different Jewish leaders and we're dialoguing about it," Ms. Ross said yesterday afternoon after a press conference to highlight her environmental positions and announce an endorsement from the Sierra Club Sierra Club, national organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the world's parks, wildlife, and wilderness areas. Founded (1892) in California by a group led by the Scottish-American conservationist John Muir, the Sierra Club , an environmental group. "Folks feel it's a respectful dialogue. We see this as a conversation that's only started."
Mr. Ross said she planned to post, on her campaign Web site, more concrete details about her positions on issues raised by the Jewish leaders.
Meanwhile, two of her opponents in the at-large race sharply criticized the Green-Rainbow stances on Darfur and Israel.
One of them, Councilor-at-Large Dennis L. Irish, finished fifth in the Sept. 11 preliminary election, one slot ahead of her in the race for the six at-large seats. The other, Councilor-at-Large Joseph M. Petty, was ninth.
They, along with the nine other candidates, will vying for the at-large seats
in the Nov. 6 final election, which is nonpartisan.
"What I find personally most disconcerting dis·con·cert
tr.v. dis·con·cert·ed, dis·con·cert·ing, dis·con·certs
1. To upset the self-possession of; ruffle. See Synonyms at embarrass.
2. is that clearly on the issue of Darfur, not calling it genocide is ridiculous," Mr. Irish, a Democrat, said. "And her party not being willing to recognize the state of Israel is certainly contrary to American foreign policy. She has to understand that when you hold yourself out as a candidate, you're open to these kinds of issues."
Mr. Petty said Ms. Ross "definitely has to come out and clearly disavow TO DISAVOW. To deny the authority by which an agent pretends to have acted as when he has exceeded the bounds of his authority.
2. It is the duty of the principal to fulfill the contracts which have been entered into by his authorized agent; and when an agent these positions."
Even with the public challenge by the Jewish leaders, Ms. Ross, who posted the strongest showing Sept. 11 among nonincumbents, is picking up new endorsements from groups such as the Sierra Club and holding onto her eight labor endorsements.
Among others, the local firefighters union and Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO Massachusetts AFL-CIO is the Massachusetts state affiliate of the AFL-CIO. It was founded in 1958.
The 'Mass AFL-CIO' is the umbrella organization for more than 750 local unions and intermediate bodies, such as joint boards and district councils, whose parent international are supporting her.
Contact Shaun Sutner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAME: WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL