Sunday, September 18, 2011

Republican frontrunner Rick Perry stands at Israel's side ahead of UN vote

(Israelhayom).Texas governor and potential Republican presidential nominee Rick Perry called on the U.S. to stonewall the Palestinian declaration of statehood at the U.N. later this week, in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal published on Friday.

Perry, who is leading in some polls as the top contender to square off against President Barack Obama in 2012, implored the Obama administration over the weekend not to abandon Israel, whom he calls an historic ally with "shared democratic principles."

He crtitcised to Obama administration Mideast policies that led to this gridlock:
"Unfortunate errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take steps backward away from peace. It was a mistake to inject 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 United States. 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.

Palestinian leaders have perceived this as a weakening of relations between Israel and the United States, and are trying to exploit it..."
Perry lashed out against the Palestinian bid, calling it an "insult to the U.S.," and even went so far as to suggest cutting off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority in light of its bypassing a negotiated settlement to the conflict in favor of U.N. recognition.
"The United States – and the United Nations – should do everything possible to discourage the Palestinian leadership from pursuing its current course.

The circumvention of serious negotiations by PA President Mahmoud Abbas demonstrates a basic failure of leadership and a betrayal of the true interests of the Palestinian people. The United States should oppose this measure by using our veto in the Security Council, as President Obama has pledged, and by doing everything we can to weaken support for the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly, even at this late date.

The United States must affirm that the precondition for any properly negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is the formal recognition of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state behind secure borders.

Our aid is, and must remain, predicated on the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to engage honestly and directly with the Israelis in negotiating a peace settlement."
Israel Hayom has also learned that Perry plans to hold a pro-Israel press conference with American and Israeli-Jewish leaders in New York this week, to coincide with the Palestinian request at the U.N.

As governor of Texas Perry has repeatedly condemned President Obama's policies toward Israel. He has often cited his Christian faith as the reason for his support of Israel.

MK Danny Danon (Likud), who will participate at the press conference, said he would ask Perry ahead of the conference to adopt the initiative the MK is advancing to annex Judea and Samaria in response to the unilateral Palestinian moves at the UN.