Prominent Republicans have strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s proposal to redraw the map of Israel to pre-1967 borders, on the eve of talks between the US and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is seeking to become the next President, said Obama threw Israel under the bus and gave the Palestinians a victory even before peace negotiations could resume.
It is disrespectful of Israel for America to dictate negotiating terms to our ally, Romney told The Associated Press. It is not appropriate for the president to dictate the terms.
He added that the US should negotiate for peace without submitting to the demands of the Palestinians.
Likewise, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, another GOP Presidential candidate for 2012, called Obama’s statements yesterday the most dangerous speech ever made by an American president for the survival of Israel.
Gingrich said the pre-1967 borders would place Israel at great jeopardy, suggesting that a new map would subject the Jewish state to even more missile attacks from Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls Gaza.
Get a map of the region and look at what Hamas does in firing missiles into Israel, Gingrich told The Associated Press. The president should have said that Hamas has to abandon its determination to destroy Israel.
Another top Republican, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania warned that Obama “needs to come to terms with its confused and dangerous foreign policy soon, as clarity and security are the necessary conditions of any serious and coherent American set of policies.”
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, another likely Presidential candidate for 2012, weighed in on the key and symbolic city of Jerusalem.
The city of Jerusalem must never be re-divided, he said. At this time of upheaval in the Middle East, it's never been more important for America to stand strong for Israel and for a united Jerusalem.
In addition, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (who also served as U.S. ambassador to China), said Obama undermined a chance for Israel and Palestinians to build a foundation of trust.
Huntsman, who also seeks to occupy the White House, told reporters: “if we respect and recognize Israel as the ally that it is, we probably ought to listen to what they think is best.”
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who may also launch a Presidential bid next year, called the plan a shocking display of betrayal to Israel.
Today President Barack Obama has again indicated that his policy towards Israel is to blame Israel first, Bachmann said in a statement.