Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Governor Perry Blasts Obama Administration Over Palestinian Statehood Vote

Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal voicing his support of the state of Israel and his disapproval of the planned vote of recognizing statehood for Palestine in the United Nations this week.

Surrounded by unfriendly neighbors and terror organizations that aim to destroy her, the Jewish state has never had an easy life. Today, the challenges are mounting. Israel faces growing hostility from Turkey. Its three-decades-old peace with Egypt hangs by a thread. Iran pursues nuclear weapons its leaders vow to use to annihilate Israel. Terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians from Hezbollah and Hamas continue. And now, the Palestinian leadership is intent on destroying the possibility of a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Israel in favor of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations.

The Palestinian plan to win that one-sided endorsement from the U.N. this month in New York threatens Israel and insults the United States. The U.S. and the U.N. have long supported the idea that Israel and its neighbors should make peace through direct negotiations. The Palestinian leadership has dealt directly with Israel since 1993 but has refused to do so since March 2010. They seem to prefer theatrics in New York to the hard work of negotiation and compromise that peace will require.

Errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take backward steps away from peace. It was a mistake to call for an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks. Indeed, the Palestinian leadership had been negotiating with Israel for years, notwithstanding settlement activity. When the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, it led to a freeze in Palestinian negotiations. It was a mistake to agree to the Palestinians' demand for indirect negotiations conducted through the U.S., and it was an even greater mistake for President Obama to distance himself from Israel and seek engagement with the hostile regimes in Syria and Iran.

Perry traveled to New York City for a fundraiser and rolled out the Perry Doctrine.

"People were pumped," said real estate executive Myers Mermel. "They were really enthused, beyond the ordinary pleasantries. On the campaign trail, it’s either there or it’s not. It’s definitely there for him."

Mermel said more than 100 people crowded into an apartment on Central Park West, including some who traveled from hours away.

"I was swamped by Republican county chairs from all over the state who wanted to attend," Mermel said. "We had people from as far away as Cayuga County come down and they were thrilled he was running. Finding somebody who’s popular in Manhattan and upstate is not easy to do. He appeals to both."

Perry gave brief remarks at the event, citing his strong economic record, and also touched on Israel, though "not in detail," according to Mermel.

"He said in a Perry presidency, the Perry Doctrine, would be standing with our allies," Mermel recalled.

“We would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn't naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous,” Perry said. “The Obama policy of moral equivalency which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult.”

Perry also criticized the administration's belief that any negotiations should be based on the borders Israel had before a 1967 war that expanded the Jewish state. Perry called that stance “insulting and nave.”

At a pro-Israel rally Tuesday morning near Union Station, Perry kept up his attack on the Obama administration.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry hosted a pro-Israel rally in New York on Tuesday morning during which he repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of "appeasement" of the Palestinians and of bungling three years of Middle East diplomacy.

"I hope you will tell the people of Israel that help is on the way," Perry told an assembled audience of Jewish organization leaders and journalists at the W Hotel on Union Square.

He called for the closing of the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington and the cutting off of U.S. aid to the Palestinian leadership as punishment for their drive to seek member-state status at the United Nations.

The Obama administration had treated Palestinian and Israel concerns with equal regard, which has led to the diplomatic crisis brewing in Turtle Bay, according to Perry.

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