Republican presidential candidate Governor Rick Perry appeared alongside Jewish leaders in New York Tuesday to pledge unwavering support to Israel and call on the Obama administration to take a stronger stance against the statehood bid.
Perry accused President Obama of fostering a policy of “appeasement” in the Middle East, blaming him for the standoff at the United Nations over the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition.
"We are indignant that certain Middle Eastern leaders have discarded the principle of direct negotiations between the sovereign nation of Israel and the Palestinian leadership, and we are equally indignant that the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy of appeasement has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith.
Simply put, we would not be here today at the precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama Policy in the Middle East wasn’t naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous..."
Perry called on the U.S. to approach the Middle East with a “new firmness and a new resolve.”
With the end-run on Palestinian statehood imminent before the U.N., America must act swiftly.
First, every nation within the U.N. must know America stands with Israel and the Oslo accord principle of direct negotiations without equivocation.
Second, America must make it clear that a declaration of Palestinian Statehood in violation of the spirit of the Oslo accords could jeopardize our funding of U.N. operations.
Third, the Palestinians must know their gambit comes with consequences in particular that America will have to reconsider the $4 billion in assistance we have provided to the Palestinians over the last 17 years.
Fourth, we should close the PLO office in Washington if the U.N. grants the standing of a Palestinian state.
And fifth, we must signal to the world, including nations like Turkey and Egypt whom we have considered allies in recent years, that we won’t tolerate aggression against Israel.
It is time to change our policy of appeasement toward the Palestinians to strengthen our ties to the nation of Israel, and in the process establish a robust American position in the Middle East characterized by a new firmness and a new resolve."
During a question-and-answer session afterward, Perry reiterated that if the U.N. offered statehood to Palestine, the United States should think about revoking its financial support for the international body.
Perry offered a more moderate but articulated Foreign policy vision.
"I do support a two-state solution – only if the nation of israel and the Palestinian authorities do sit down and have direct negotiations with each other," he said.
Perry's also promised that, "as the President of the United States, if you want to work for the State Department, you will be working in Jerusalem" — a signal that the American embassy should be moved from its current location in Tel Aviv.
Perry doesn't seem to share such concerns. "I hope you will tell the people of Israel that help is on the way," he said to applause. Whether Perry will be able to follow through on his promises depends, to some degree, on whether he's the Chosen People's choice.