This afternoon, I am scheduled to speak to about 20 Lantos Humanity in Action Fellows about US foreign policy, the campaigns and blogging — and I’ve just learned the sad news that House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) has just passed away today.
Lantos was a tireless advocate for human rights and was the only Holocaust survivor serving in the US Congress.
I had recently met with him a few times and saw him moving increasingly in support of a serious US role in Israel-Palestine negotiations. In the past, his support of Israel seemed to preclude a balanced approach to both sides in any negotiation — but recently, in a number of forums and in discussions with me and others — he said that the human crises building in Palestine and among Palestinians inside Israel called out for a different approach.
Lantos was also an advocate of much more vigorous diplomacy in the Middle East writ large than he is given credit for — particularly with Iran.
— Steve Clemons