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Republicans: Obama screwed Israel

By PHILIP ELLIOTT
May 20, 2011

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to local party activists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Republicans looking to unseat President Barack Obama charged that he undermined the sensitive and delicate negotiations for Middle East peace with his outline for resumed talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Obama, whom he served as U.S. ambassador to China until last month, undercut an opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians to build trust. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Obama “threw Israel under the bus” and handed the Palestinians a victory even before negotiations between the parties could resume. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called it “the most dangerous speech ever made by an American president for the survival of Israel.”

Foreign policy has hardly been the center of the debate among the still-forming GOP presidential field. Instead, the candidates and potential candidates have kept their focus — like the country’s — on domestic issues that are weighing on voters and their pocketbooks. Obama’s speech Thursday provided one of the first opportunities for Republicans to assert their foreign policy differences with Obama and his Democratic administration.

Obama endorsed Palestinians’ demands for the borders of its future state based on 1967 borders — before the Six Day War in which Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. That was a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy.

Campaigning here in the state that hosts the first presidential nominating primary, Huntsman also said the United States should respect Israel and work to foster trust between Israelis and Palestinians.

“If we respect and recognize Israel as the ally that it is, we probably ought to listen to what they think is best,” said Huntsman, who served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush before surprising his party and serving Obama, a Democrat.

He acknowledged he didn’t watch Obama’s speech and was reacting to news coverage — or, as he called it, “the aftermath.”

“It is disrespectful of Israel for America to dictate negotiating terms to our ally,” Romney said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It is not appropriate for the president to dictate the terms.”

Instead, the United States should work with Israel to push for peace without acceding to the Palestinians, he said.

Gingrich said Israel simply cannot go back to the 1967 borders and expect to remain secure, given technological advancements that would allow its enemies to fire rockets deeper into the state.

“Get a map of the region and look at what Hamas does in firing missiles into Israel,” Gingrich told The Associated Press. “The president should have said that Hamas has to abandon its determination to destroy Israel.”

Obama urged Israel to accept that it can never have a truly peaceful nation based on “permanent occupation.” That follows what other Republicans have painted as hostility from this administration toward a stalwart ally in the Middle East.

“The current administration needs to come to terms with its confused and dangerous foreign policy soon, as clarity and security are the necessary conditions of any serious and coherent American set of policies,” Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said in a statement.

Obama’s speech at the State Department addressed the uprisings sweeping the Arab world. Speaking to audiences abroad and at home, he sought to leave no doubt that the U.S. stands behind the protesters who have swelled from nation to nation across the Middle East and North Africa.

“We know that our own future is bound to this region by the forces of economics and security; history and faith,” the president said.

But the remarks only muddied things, especially on the dicey issue of Jerusalem, said former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

“The city of Jerusalem must never be re-divided,” Pawlenty said. “At this time of upheaval in the Middle East, it’s never been more important for America to stand strong for Israel and for a united Jerusalem.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a tea party favorite who is leaning toward a run, called the border suggestions “a shocking display of betrayal” to Israel.

“Today President Barack Obama has again indicated that his policy towards Israel is to blame Israel first,” she said in a statement.

On Twitter, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin didn’t directly address the speech but urged Obama to publicly welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instead of ushering him into private meetings away from reporters, as has occurred on Netanyahu’s previous visits. The two leaders will talk Friday at the White House.

“Dear Mr. President, please allow our ally, PM Netanyahu, to respectfully arrive through the front door this time. Thanks, Concerned Americans,” she tweeted.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

4 Responses to Republicans: Obama screwed Israel

  1. Carl Nemo

    May 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    It makes my stomach flip reading and listening to all the hypocrisy coming from the lips of ‘camp-following’ Republicans.

    “Dear Mr. President, please allow our ally, PM Netanyahu, to respectfully arrive through the front door this time. Thanks, Concerned Americans,” she tweeted.” …extract from article

    Palin, who’s definitely intellectually challenged and no doubt flunked high school level geography is now concerned about the geopolitics of the Middle East. Say what…?!

    First of all the state of Israel is not our ally. They use us for their own ends with us simply being their ‘running dog’ slaves to protect their borders in the Middle East from others that no doubt would overrun them in a NY minute, shy of them having nuclear capabilities.

    Does anyone remember the Liberty? Does anyone remember the treachery and traitorous activities of Jonathan Pollard who compromised the entire ‘Holy Bible’ of SIGINT; I.E., the NSA’s RASIN to Israel, our “ally”. It was an entire compilation of every electronic signature gathered from every possible platform to the date of its compromise. They consider him a ‘national hero’ and are continuously plugging for his release from life imprisonment for his crime against the U.S. which also cost us billions of dollars to rectify. He should have gotten the death penalty.

    They have MOSSAD moles throughout our entire civilian/military complex; ie., CIA, DIA, NRO constantly giving them intel concerning our military strengths and weaknesses. They’re also ‘buddies’ with the “Red Chinese”… / : |

    I urge folks to dig up links concerning the sinking of the USS Liberty, Jonathan Pollard et al. incidents would make one think that the Israeli’s are a bigger threat to our security than ever the KGB, now FSB, or even Chinese State Intelligence could ever be. They also sell our technology to potential enemies. When it comes to the making of an extra buck, shekel, euro, or yuan…nothing is sacred.

    Obviously there’s some brinkmanship going with Obama’s communique to Israel. He’s simply puppeteered by his controllers on the NSC (National Security Council) . They simply interrupt him from a game of golf, shooting hoops, or a vacation to give him his script to read. It was the same for the recent OBL sanction. That’s all there is to the guy, nothing more, nothing less. He’s simply an articulate “emtpy suit”. / : |

    Maybe it’s simply a scare tactic to shakedown American Jews for more campaign contributions on Obama’s behalf…?

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Almandine

    May 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    So, who hasn’t he screwed?

  3. woody188

    May 21, 2011 at 12:28 am

    It’s fun to watch hill people try to out Israel each other. Don’t you wish they showed the same passion for when they screw America?

    • Carl Nemo

      May 21, 2011 at 12:38 am

      “BAM!”…Woody188 for the highly creative comment concerning our duopolist crimpols in Congress and D.C. in general !

      That’s what Emeril Lagasse says on his cooking show when he’s working up one of his super-tasty, grease-based wonder entrees and it’s coming to completion with just another added ‘special’ ingredient. I watch cooking shows since I’ve taken over the household galley in my retirement. I do all the cooking and “cleanup” while my wife watches the ‘game’… : D

      When it comes to sucking up to Israel, it’s all about campaign contributions; ie., milking deluded ‘suckers’ to the limit. / : |

      Carl Nemo **==