Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is taking a cue from the successful congressional campaign of Bob Turner -- attacking President Barack Obama on Israel policy.
Turner, a Republican, won a special election in New York last week for Anthony Weiner's vacated House seat. Turner beat Democrat Dave Weprin in the 9th Congressional District race despite the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly a three to one margin.
The likes of Democrat Ed Koch, the former New York mayor, endorsed Turner because of controversy in the race on positions regarding Israel. Koch said he was sending a message to Obama on policies toward Israel with the support. The Democratic district, comprising Queens and parts of Brooklyn, is heavily Jewish, and Weprin's views on Israel policy cost him support with many Jewish voters.
Taking a cue from Turner's success, presidential hopeful Perry plans to wade into the tense foreign policy dispute, criticizing in a speech in New York on Tuesday surrounding a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly Obama's policy and the Palestinian Authority's effort to seek formal recognition of statehood by the U.N.
Perry suggests Obama effectively helped encourage the Palestinians to seek recognition by the U.N. Polls just before Turner's victory revealed that many Democrats in the 9th Congressional District no longer support Obama, despite the fact that the president beat John McCain there in the 2008 election.
Complaints about Obama's Israel policy are believed to be a major reason for the shift in support -- something Perry hopes to gain traction with by speaking on Israel policy in New York.
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, says Perry, in excerpts of a speech to be delivered Tuesday provided by one of his aides to The Associated Press. And we are equally indignant that the Obama administration's Middle East policy of appeasement has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith.