So Dean said that the U.S. should "not takes sides" in the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. I would like to understand what about that statement is so controversial. The opposite of that statement is that the U.S. should take sides, presumably Israel's. Thus, anyone who had a problem with his statement (which apparently was a lot of people) feels that the U.S. should take Israel's side in the matter. I find that statement a lot more absurd. My take on this situation is that the politicians criticizing Dean's statement are pandering to the Jewish constituency, for no other reason than that it is a large and powerful constituency. They cannot possibly believe that taking Israel's side in the matter will result in peace for the U.S., let alone Israel. I can understand this coming from Jewish politicians like Lieberman, who clearly have an emotional tie to the matter, but any others who have criticized must merely be desperate to bring down Dean's momentum. Unfortunately, it seems that Dean's status as frontrunner is forcing him to tone down his intelligent and sound stances, in order to avoid offending any important groups. This is unfortunate because much of Dean's appeal has come from his tendency to make bold and daring assertions that make sense, however contrary they are to the traditional policies of Washington insiders.