Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is preparing to give a speech that will criticize President Barack Obama's policies towards Israel and tie them to the Palestinian Authority's quest for United Nations membership.
Despite the fact that the Obama administration has been desperately trying to avert the diplomatic crisis of the Palestinians seeking formal recognition of statehood before the United Nations, Perry will charge that the Obama administration encouraged the statehood push with a conciliatory stance towards the Palestinians.
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, Perry will say, according to excerpts of the speech provided 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.
Is Obama's Support for Israel Strong Enough?
Jewish-American voters overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008, but the president is battling a growing perception that he does not support Israel strongly enough. Republican Bob Turner's upset win in a special election for New York's reliably Democratic Ninth District was seen partially as a referendum on Obama's Israel policy, with former New York mayor Ed Koch urging the district's large Jewish electorate to vote against Democratic candidate Dave Weprin in order to rebuke Obama on Israel.
Obama pushed for a freeze on Israeli settlements in the West Bank as a precondition to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a move that fueled censures similar to Perry's of a policy of appeasement. In a much-publicized and usually misrepresented speech, Obama called for Israel returning to its pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps as a prerequisite for peace -- much of the attendant coverage and many of the responses, including from Netanyahu, neglected the land swaps line and painted Obama as lax on Israel's security.