issues2000

Topics in the News: Israel & Palestine


Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 17, 2014
Don't demand complete moratorium on Israeli settlement

Mrs. Clinton said it was a mistake in retrospect to demand in 2009 a complete freezing of Israeli settlement construction as a precursor to peace talks. This allowed the Arab states and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to essentially stand back from negotiations until the U.S. could deliver on Obama's demand:

"That made it very hard for either one to climb down or compromise. The Arab states were happy to sit on the sidelines and use the dust-up as an excuse for their own inaction. And Abbas, who had consistently called for a halt to settlement construction for years, now claimed it was all our idea and said he wouldn't come to the peace table without a moratorium on settlement construction." (Page 316)

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Wall Street Journal on Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton

Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy : Mar 28, 2014
Neo-isolationism and American passivity both have dangers

Jeb Bush attacked the White House's approach to foreign policy in a speech given to the Republican Jewish Coalition. Bush focused on economic policy in his remarks but also impressed the pro-Israel group with his defense of muscular American foreign policy.

"He showed a lot of knowledge about foreign policy that he must have been working hard to acquire," said Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary and a board member of the RJC, noting Bush discussed diplomatic challenges presented by countries like Ukraine, Russia and Moldova. "He was very rough on the president in terms of his handling of foreign policy, referring to the dangers of 'American passivity.'"

The son and brother of presidents, Bush cautioned the Republican party against "neo-isolationism," a line universally understood as a shot at Rand Paul. Bush also pushed back on Democratic attacks that whenever a Republican calls for a more activist foreign policy that they are "warmongering."

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Time Magazine, "American Passivity"

John Bolton on Foreign Policy : Mar 7, 2014
Weak America means trouble in Russia, China, & Libya

We do not accept an America that is weak & declining. We do not accept an American military that is weak & poorly equipped, and in particular, we do not accept and American president who is weak, indecisive and apologetic about our country
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention

Peter King on War & Peace : Sep 9, 2013
We cannot allow Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons

Iran poses a grave threat not only to Israel and the Middle East, but also to the US and the entire world. It is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and continues to violate United Nations Security Council Resolutions in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. That is something we cannot allow. Strong economic sanctions on Iran have been enacted with my strong support. We must take decisive action against this dangerous regime and keep all options on the table. I have endorsed:
Click for Peter King on other issues.   Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues"

Peter King on War & Peace : Sep 9, 2013
Steadfastly support Israeli defense against Syria

As unrest continues to rock the Middle East, it is more important than ever that the United States steadfastly support the Jewish State's right to defend itself. The volatility in Syria presents substantial security risks to Israel and the world, particularly in terms of the power vacuum and the country's weapons stockpiles. On the Egyptian border, there is instability in the Sinai and a stream of weapons smuggling into Gaza. Moreover, President Morsi has made disgusting comments about Jews. I will remain vigilant in monitoring the various regime changes in the Middle East and their impact on Israel.
Click for Peter King on other issues.   Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues"

Rand Paul on War & Peace : Sep 1, 2013
No involvement in Syria, even if gas attack proven

Q: The intelligence suggests this was a sarin gas attack at the hands of the Assad government. Is that enough for you to now vote to authorize the president to use force?

PAUL: No. And I think it's a mistake to get involved in the Syrian civil war. I would ask, "Do you think that it's less likely or more likely that chemical weapons will be used again if we bomb Assad?" Is it more likely or less likely that we'll have more refugees in Jordan or that Israel might suffer attack? I think all of the bad things that you could imagine are all more likely if we get involved in the Syrian civil war.

Q: Secretary Kerry says for you and others not to authorize force is really hurtful to US credibility.

PAUL: The one thing I'm proud of the president for is that he's coming to Congress in a constitutional manner & asking for our authorization. That's what he ran on: his policy was that no president should unilaterally go to war without congressional authority. And I'm proud that he's sticking by it.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Martin O`Malley on Foreign Policy : Apr 24, 2013
Respect my right to shy away from foreign policy

On his 8-day trip to Israel, Jordan & the Palestinian territories, O'Malley said, "I'm sure all of you will ask me foreign policy questions. I respect your right to ask them, and I hope you'll respect my right to shy away from answering them."

On the news of the day--apparent differences between Obama and the Israeli military on whether chemical weapons had been deployed by the Syrian military--O'Malley deferred to the president's judgment. "It's certainly one of the great challenges," he allowed.

Asked whether the American people, weary from a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, would be ready to engage in another military operation to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, O'Malley avoided specifics. "I believe that the president will make that call," he said, "and the president will have the primary responsibility of making that case to the American people and also to Congress."

How about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? "All of us hope for peace in the Middle East."

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: N.Y.Times on 2014 Maryland gubernatorial race

Martin O`Malley on Foreign Policy : Apr 24, 2013
Israeli separation barrier might be called "peace wall"

Governor O'Malley, 50, said it was his third visit to Israel, and that he had brought with him about 50 high-tech executives, Jewish leaders, and Maryland officials for what is essentially a trade mission. After a side trip to Jordan in which he met with Prince Faisal--"What we spoke about was the huge challenge that the ongoing conflict in Syria has for the entire region"--much of his itinerary here is filled with companies that have offices in his home state, including one that makes radar for the vaunted Iron Dome missile defense system.

A reporter pointed out that on his way into Bethlehem, he would see the controversial separation barrier Israel has erected in the West Bank. O'Malley said he had seen something similar in Northern Ireland. "They call it the peace wall," he noted.

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: N.Y.Times on 2014 Maryland gubernatorial race

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Mar 4, 2013
Jewish state of Israel is only way to ensure "Never Again"

My education started at my father's dinner table. My father was what you would have called a righteous Christian. It was at that table I first heard the phrase, "Never again." It was at that table that I learned that the only way to ensure that it could never happen again was the establishment and the existence of a secure, Jewish state of Israel.

I remember my father, a Christian, being baffled at the debate taking place at the end of World War II talking about whether or not to establish the State of Israel. My father would say, were he a Jew, he would never, never entrust the security of his people to any individual nation, no matter how good and how noble it was, like the United States.

President Obama shares my commitment. We both know that Israel faces new threats, new pressures and uncertainty. The threats to Israel's existence continue, but they have changed as the world and the region have changed over the last decade.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Mar 4, 2013
Arab Spring changed Mideast; commitment to Israel unchanged

The Arab Spring, at once full of both hope and uncertainty, has required Israel--and the United States--to reassess old and settled relationships. Iran's dangerous nuclear weapons program, and its continued support of terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah and Hamas, not only endanger Israel, but endanger the world.

All these pressures put enormous pressure on the State of Israel. We understand that. And we especially understand that if we make a mistake, it's not a threat to our existence. But if Israel makes a mistake, it could be a threat to its very existence. And that's why, from the moment the President took office, he has acted swiftly and decisively to make clear to the whole world and to Israel that even as circumstances have changed, one thing has not: our deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel. That has not changed. That will not change as long as I and he are President and Vice President. It's in our naked self-interest, beyond the moral imperative.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Mar 4, 2013
Invest $275M in Israel's "Iron Dome" & future joint systems

Under this administration, we've invested $275 million in Iron Dome, including $70 million to increase the production of Iron Dome batteries and interceptors.

Not long ago, I would have had to describe to an audience what Iron Dome was, how it would work, why funding it mattered. I don't have to explain to anybody anymore. Everybody gets it. Last year, Iron Dome made a difference. When Hamas rockets rained on Israel, Iron Dome shot them out of the sky, intercepting nearly 400 rockets in November alone. It was our unique partnership--Israel and the US--that pioneered this technology and funded it.

And it is in that same spirit that we're working with Israel to jointly develop new systems, called Arrow and David's Sling, interceptors that can defeat long-range threats from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. And we are working to deploy a powerful new radar, networked with American early warning satellites, that could buy Israel valuable time in the event of an attack.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
Prevent--not contain--Iranian nuclear weapon

We're mindful that pursuing a better future for Israel means helping Israel confront the myriads of threat it faces in the neighborhood. It's a tough neighborhood, and it starts with Iran. It is not only in Israel's interest that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, it's in the interest of the United States of America. It's simple. And, as a matter of fact, it's in the interest of the entire world.

Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon not only would present an existential threat to Israel, it would present a threat to our allies and our partners--and to the United States. And it would trigger an arms race--a nuclear arms race in the region, and make the world a whole lot less stable.

So we have a shared strategic commitment. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent--not contain--prevent.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
Syria's Assad must go, but carefully vet who gets aid

The US and Israel have a shared interest in Syria. Assad has shown his father's disregard for human life and dignity, engaging in brutal murder of his own citizens. Our position on that tragedy could not be clearer: Assad must go. But we are not signing up for one murderous gang replacing another in Damascus.

That's why our focus is on supporting a legitimate opposition not only committed to a peaceful Syria but to a peaceful region. We're carefully vetting those to whom we provide assistance. That's why, while putting relentless pressure on Assad and sanctioning the pro-regime, Iranian-backed militia, we've also designated al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organization.

And because we recognize the great danger Assad's chemical and biological arsenals pose to Israel and the US, to the whole world, we've set a clear red line against the use of the transfer of the those weapons. And we will work together to prevent this conflict and these horrific weapons from threatening Israel's security.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
On Iranian nukes: Big nations can't bluff

We have a shared strategic commitment with Israel. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent--not contain--prevent.

The President has flatly stated that. And he always says--he'll turn to other people and say, "as Joe would say, big nations can't bluff." Well, big nations can't bluff. And Presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff. And President Obama is not bluffing. He is not bluffing.

We are not looking for war. We are looking to and ready to negotiate peacefully, but all options, including military force, are on the table. Our strong preference, the world's preference is for a diplomatic solution. So while that window is closing, we believe there is still time and space to achieve the outcome. We are in constant dialogue, sharing information with the Israeli military & Israeli intelligence, and we're taking all the steps required to get there.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Joe Biden speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Oct 22, 2012
Make sure both allies and enemies know where we stand

Here's one thing I've learned as commander in chief. You've got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean. Now, it is absolutely true that we cannot just beat these challenges militarily, and so what I've done throughout my presidency and will continue to do, is:
  1. Make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts;
  2. Make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel's security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.
  3. Make sure that we're protecting religious minorities and women because these countries can't develop unless all the population--not just half of it--is developing.
  4. Develop their economic capabilities.
  5. Recognize that we can't continue to do nation building in these regions. Part of American leadership is making sure that we're doing nation building here at home. That will help us maintain the kind of American leadership that we need.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
I will stand with Israel if they are attacked

Q: Would you be willing to declare that an attack on Israel is an attack on the US? Wouldn't that deter Iran?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I've made that clear throughout my presidency.

Q: So you're saying we've already made that declaration?

OBAMA: I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history. But to the issue of Iran, as long as I'm president of the US, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. A nuclear Iran is a threat to our national security and it's threat to Israel's national security.

ROMNEY: When I'm president of the United States, we will stand with Israel. And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
Supported "Iron Dome" defense shield for Israel

ROMNEY: The reason I call it an "apology tour" is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations, and they noticed that you skipped Israel.

OBAMA: When I went to Israel as a candidate, I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable. And then I went down to the border towns of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms, and I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles. So that's how I've used my travels when I travel to Israel and when I travel to the region.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Iran is not close to nuclear weapons; stop the bluster

RYAN: When Barack Obama was elected, Iran had enough fissile material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five. They're racing toward a nuclear weapon. They're four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.

BIDEN: We feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the Iranians. But #2, the Israelis and the US--our intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place in terms of how close the Iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. They are a good way away. When [Ryan] talks about fissile material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up. Then they have to be able to have something to put it in. There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point. Both the Israelis and we know we'll know if they start the process of building a weapon. So all this bluster I keep hearing--Let's all calm down a little bit here. Iran is more isolated today than when we took office. It was on the ascendancy when we took office. It is totally isolated.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Sep 30, 2012
No daylight between the United States and Israel

The president began his term with the explicit policy of creating "daylight" between our two countries. He recently downgraded Israel from being our "closest ally" in the Middle East to being only "one of our closest allies." It's a diplomatic message that will be received clearly by Israel and its adversaries alike. He dismissed Israel's concerns about Iran as mere "noise" that he prefers to "block out." And at a time when Israel needs America to stand with it, he declined to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. [We should have] no daylight between the United States and Israel.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Romney's editorial in the Wall Street Journal

Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy : Sep 14, 2012
Confident exercise of US leadership keeps peace in Mideast

Peace, freedom, and civilized values have enemies in this world, as we have been reminded by events in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. [Our enemies] are extremists who operate by violence and intimidation. And the least equivocation or mixed signal only makes them bolder. Look across that region today, and what do we see?Amid all these threats & dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership. In the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose. Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome. That is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace. And that is what we will have in a Romney-Ryan administration.
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2012 Values Voters Summit

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Aug 30, 2012
A free world is a more peaceful world

Every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat. In his first TV interview as president, Obama said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

We will honor America's democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : May 16, 2012
Cut all support and aid to Israel

Q: Should the U.S. continue to support Israel?

A: No, cut all support and aid.

Q: Should the U.S. intervene in the affairs of other countries?

A: Yes, but only in matters of national security.

Q: How should the U.S. deal with Iran?

A: Iran does not threaten our national security and there is no proof they are building a nuclear weapon.

Q: Should the U.S. maintain a presence at the United Nations?

A: Yes, but scale back our current involvement.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Presidential comparison website www.iSideWith.com

Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy : Jan 1, 2012
Michele Bachmann international stances compared to Palin

Do Palin and Bachmann both support Israel's 1967 borders? (Yes, both). Would Palin and Bachmann both deny terrorists their criminal rights? (Yes, again). We cite details from Bachmann's books and speeches, and Palin's, so you can compare them, side-by-side, on issues like these:

Bachmann vs. Palin on International Issues

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Paperback: Bachmann vs. Palin On The Issues

Newt Gingrich on Foreign Policy : Dec 10, 2011
Tell the truth: Palestinians are an "invented people"

Q: You caused a stir in the Middle East by calling the Palestinians "an invented people." The chief Palestinian negotiator said, "These statements of Gingrich will be the ammunition of the bin Ladens and the extremists for a long, long time."

GINGRICH: How would he know the difference? Look, is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Are we in a situation where every day, rockets are fired into Israel while the US tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process? A Palestinian Authority ambassador said, "There is no difference between Fatah and Hamas. We both agree Israel has no right to exist." Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth: These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, "If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?" We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It's time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, "Enough lying about the Middle East."

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Dec 10, 2011
Disagree with Israelis in private; stand with them in public

Q: Speaker Gingrich caused a stir in the Middle East by calling the Palestinians "an invented people." Are they?

ROMNEY: I happen to agree with most of what the speaker said, except by going down and saying the Palestinians are an invented people. That I think was a mistake on the speaker's part. I think the speaker would probably suggest that as well.

GINGRICH: No.

ROMNEY: Israel does not want us to make it more difficult for them to sit down with the Palestinians. Ultimately, the Palestinians and the Israelis are going to have to agree on how they're going to settle the differences between them. My view is this: We stand with the Israeli people. We link arms with them. If we disagree with them, like this president has time and time again, we don't do it in public like he's done it, we do it in private. And we let the Israeli leadership describe what they believe the right course is going forward.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Sep 22, 2011
Unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation

Q: How would you approach the new reality for our ally, Israel, and the existential threats it faces from Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah?

ROMNEY: Very simple. You start off by saying that you don't allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and your allies. The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America. He addressed the United Nations in his inaugural address and chastised our friend, Israel, for building settlements and said nothing about Hamas launching thousands of rockets into Israel. The right course for us is to stand behind our friends, to listen to them, and to let the entire world know that we will stay with them and that we will support them and defend them. And with regards to Iran, which perhaps represents the greatest existential threat to Israel, we have to make it abundantly clear: It is unacceptable--and I take that word carefully--it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : Aug 21, 2011
Let Israel deal with Iranian nukes; not US role to tell them

Q: Do you agree with Ron Paul that Iran is not a threat?

A: I think Israel is an important military ally and I support that alliance. I think Iran gets dealt with by Israel, which is likely to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I think it's wrong for our government to presume to tell Israel what to do.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Feb 22, 2011
As only democracy in Mideast, Israel is important ally

Sarah Palin's endorsement [in the Kentucky GOP Senate primary] gave us a boost that energized supporters, brought in new ones, and, of course, annoyed my opponent and his Republican bosses to no end.

Palin wanted to know my position on Israel. I said that Israel was an important ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, and that I would not condemn Israel for defending herself. Later, after Palin's endorsement of me, she was grilled about it on FOX News. Of course, she defended it.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 78

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Oct 5, 2010
Condemned 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem

In Feb. 2010, Biden had just completed a rousing speech in Jerusalem and had vowed "absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israeli security" when the Israeli interior ministry announced that 1,600 new housing units would be built in East Jerusalem. The ministry said the decision had been 3 years in the making, had nothing to do with Biden's arrival. Biden immediately condemned the decision in scathing terms, calling it "precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now."

Biden thereupon delayed his arrival as a demonstration of his disapproval. The next day Biden went on to the Palestinian Territory. There he told Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the latest Israeli decision "undermined that very trust that we need right now in order to have profitable negotiations," and was "why I immediately condemned the action." He said his criticism came "at the request of Pres. Obama," which drew applause, addition that "sometimes only a friend can deliver the hardest truth."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.470-471

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jun 1, 2010
Hamas election void until they renounce violence

Obama repeated the familiar reasons for ignoring the elected government led by Hamas: "To be a genuine party to peace," Obama declared, "the Quartet [US, EU, Russia, UN) has made it clear that Hamas must meet clear conditions: recognize Israel's right to exist; renounce violence; and abide by past agreements."

Also near-universal are the standard references to Hamas: a terrorist organization, dedicated to the destruction of Israel (or maybe all Jews). Hamas has called for a 2-state settlement in the terms of international consensus: publicly and repeatedly. Israel and the US object that the Hamas proposals do not go far enough. Perhaps so, but they surely go much farther toward the international consensus than the firm and unwavering US-Israeli rejectionist stance, reiterated obliquely by Obama in his State Department talk.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.254-255

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 1, 2010
Supports Arab Peace Initiative (two states) with exceptions

The Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas meetings in May 2009 have been widely interpreted as a turning point in US Middle East policy.

The consensus calls for a Palestinian state to be established in united Gaza and the West bank after Israel's withdrawal. The Arab Peace Initiative adds that the Arab states should then normalize relations with Israel. The initiative was later adopted by the Organization of Islamic States, including Iran.

Obama has praised the initiative and called on the Arab states to proceed to normalize relations with Israel, scrupulously evading the core of the proposal: reiteration of the international consensus. His studied omission can only be understood as [the same] US rejectionist stand that has blocked a diplomatic settlement since the 1970s, with rare and temporary exceptions. There are no signs that Obama is willing even to consider the Arab Peace Initiative. That was underscored in Obama's much heralded address to the Muslim world in Cairo on June 4, 2009.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.177-178

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 1, 2010
Continued Israeli settlements in West Bank are illegitimate

In his June 4, 2009 address to the Muslim world in Cairo, Obama once again echoed Bush's "vision" of two states, without saying what he means by the phrase "Palestine state." His intentions are clarified by his one explicit criticism of Israel: "The US does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. "That is, Israel should live up to Phase I of the 2003 Road Map, rejected at once by Israel with tacit US support, as noted--through the truth is that Obama has ruled out even steps of the Bush I variety to withdraw from participation in these crimes.

The operative words are "legitimacy" & "continued." By omission, Obama indicates that he accepts Bush's vision: the vast existing settlement and infrastructure projects are "legitimate," thus ensuring that the phrase "Palestinian state" means "fried chicken."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.188-191

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 1, 2010
OpEd: 2008: Denounced Mumbai attacks, but not Gaza attacks

On Israel-Palestine, rumors began circulating that Obama might depart from the US rejectionism that has blocked a political settlement for over thirty years. The record, however, never provided any basis for taking rumors seriously.

Before the primaries, I reviewed Obama's formal positions at the time. They gave no reason for any expectations beyond enthusiastic support for Israeli crimes. Particularly revealing was his reaction to Israel's sharply accelerated assault on Gaza, opening its violation of the cease-fire on Nov. 4, 2008, as voters were going to the polls to elect Obama, then breaking out in full fury on Dec. 27 after rejection of Hamas initiatives to reinstate the cease-fire. To these crimes Obama's response was silence-- unlike, say, the late November terrorist attack in Mumbai, which he was quick to denounce, along with the "hateful ideology" that lay behind it. In the case of Gaza, his staff hid behind the mantra that "there is one president at a time."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.233

John Bolton on War & Peace : May 18, 2010
Drone strikes don't get Mirandized; why should others?

The campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan employ armed drone aircraft to target and kill terrorist leaders and supporters, although, needless to say, the targets don't get Miranda rights read to them. The administration seems unwilling to reconcile these strikes with how it handles terrorists captured in the US. Already, there are international complaints that the drone attacks are precisely the kinds of "targeted" or "extra-judicial" killings complained about for years when undertaken by Israel.
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by J. Bolton, p. 31-32

Barack Obama on War & Peace : May 18, 2010
OpEd: Af-Pak drones: targeted kills but extra-judicial

The campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan employ armed drone aircraft to target and kill terrorist leaders and supporters, although, needless to say, the targets don't get Miranda rights read to them. The administration seems unwilling to reconcile these strikes with how it handles terrorists captured in the US. Already, there are international complaints that the drone attacks are precisely the kinds of "targeted" or "extra-judicial" killings complained about for years when undertaken by Israel.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by John Bolton,p.31-32

John Bolton on War & Peace : May 18, 2010
2008: Supported Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip

The UN's recent Goldstone report on Israel's 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the Gaza Strip criticized Israel for violations of the law of war, such as the "disproportionate use of force," in ways that severely undermine Israel's inherent right of self-defense. If such conclusions become widely accepted, they will obviously have direct and substantial effects on our ability to undertake our own self-defense, which is, of course, exactly what the globalists have in mind.
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Obama is Endangering our Sovereignty, by John Bolton, p. 30

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
Strong Economy; Strong Military; Strong People

There are three pillars that sustain a free and strong America:
  1. A Strong Economy
  2. A Strong Military
  3. A Free and Strong People
The action steps to secure each of these include those noted in this Agenda for a Free and Strong America:
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.301

Mitt Romney on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
Strengthen soft power because it is real power

It is long past time for America to strengthen and effectively deploy our soft power. There should be no misunderstanding of the fact that soft power is REAL power; that it can and does affect world events. The Lebanon War in 2006 is one example.

When conflict broke out between Hezbollah and Israel, many observers were surprised to see Hezbollah garner so much support among the Lebanese people. Hezbollah was launching rockets from Lebanese neighborhoods, making them the open targets of Israeli retaliation, but nonetheless, the Lebanese people cheered Hezbollah.

A good deal of the support for Hezbollah stemmed from deep-seated anti-Israel resentment. But it was also the result of Hezbollah's long effort to help the Shia community by building village schools and other social services. Israeli officials explained that Hezbollah contributed only a few million dollars a year to this effort, but it was money very effectively spent. In this instance, soft power meant real power for the Hezbollah.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 78

Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy : Feb 6, 2010
Reaching out to hostile regimes has not worked

Misguided thinking is seen throughout the administration's foreign policy decisions. Our president spent a year reaching out to hostile regimes, writing personal letters to dangerous dictators and apologizing for America, and what do we have to show for that? Here's what we have to show. North Korea tested nuclear weapons and longer-range ballistic missiles. Israel, a friend and critical ally, now questions the strength of our support. Plans for a missile defense system in Europe, they've been scrapped. Relations with China and Russia are no better. and relations with Japan, that key Asian ally, they are in the worst shape in years.

The administration cut support for democracy programs. And where the president has not been clear, I ask where is his clear and where his strong voice of support for the Iranians who are risking all in their opposition to Ahmedinijad? We need a foreign policy that distinguishes America's friends from her enemies and recognizes the true nature of the threats that we face

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2010 Tea Party Convention speeches

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 20, 2009
Fundamental commitment to strong US-Israel relationship

Jesse Jackson, speaking before a World Policy Forum in France, suggested that an Obama presidency would put an end to excessive "Zionist" influence in American foreign policy. In a subsequent "clarification," Jackson repudiated the column and confirmed that he "has never had a conversation with Sen. Obama about Israel or the Middle East."

Obama's camp was again forces to issue a strong denial: "Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is not an adviser to the Obama campaign and is therefore in no position to interpret or share Barack Obama's views on Israel and foreign policy. As he has made clear throughout his career and throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has a fundamental commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and he is advised by people like Dennis Ross, Daniel Kurtzer, Rep. Robert Wexler, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Senator Joe Biden who share that commitment."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: What Obama Means, by Jabari Asim, p.200-202

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 7, 2008
Prevent Iran from attacking Israel, but keep military option

Q: If Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit US troops in defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the UN Security Council?

McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. Both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles.

OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so it’s unacceptable. And I will do everything that’s required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we don’t provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests. It is important, though, for us to use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the scenario where we’ve got to make those kinds of choices.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Oct 2, 2008
Bush’s approach to middle east has been disastrous

Q: How would you solve Israel/Palestinian conflict?

BIDEN: No one in the Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion. But you asked whether this administration’s policy had made sense. It has been a failure. Bush insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win.” What happened? Hamas won. We kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.“ Now what happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government. We will change this policy with diplomacy that understands that you must let Israel negotiate and stand with them, not insist on policies like this administration has.

PALIN: A two-state solution is the solution. That needs to be done, and that will be a top agenda item under a McCain-Palin administration. Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy : Oct 2, 2008
Two-state solution for Israel/Palestine is a top priority

Q: How would you solve Israel/Palestinian conflict?

PALIN: A two-state solution is the solution. That needs to be done, and that will be a top agenda item under a McCain-Palin administration. Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East.

BIDEN: No one in the Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion. But you asked whether this administration’s policy had made sense. It has been a failure. Bush insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win.” What happened? Hamas won. We kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.” Now what happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government. We will change this policy with diplomacy that understands that you must let Israel negotiate and stand with them, not insist on policies like this administration has.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Oct 2, 2008
Terrorists in Iraq are the biggest threat to Americans today

Q: What’s the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?

PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, and it’s probably the only thing that they’re ever going to agree on. An armed, nuclear Iran is so extremely dangerous. Israel is in jeopardy when we’re dealing with Iran. Others who are dangerous dictators are ones that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions. And that goes beyond naivete and poor judgment.

BIDEN: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be destabilizing, but they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed. John continues to tell us that the central war on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it’s going to come from al Qaeda in the hills of Pakistan. We need to support that democracy by helping them with their economic well-being

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden

Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy : Sep 24, 2008
Would not second guess Israel if they attack Iran

Q: What if Israel attacked Iran?

A: We shouldn’t second guess Israel’s security efforts because we cannot ever afford to send a message that we would allow a second Holocaust, for one. Israel has got to have the opportunity and the ability to protect itself. They are our closest ally in the Mideast. We need them. They need us. We don’t have to second-guess what their efforts would be if they believe that it is in their best interests to fight against a regime, especially Iran, who would seek to wipe them off the face of the earth. It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That’s not a good guy who is saying that.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric

Sarah Palin on War & Peace : Sep 11, 2008
Nuclear Iran is dangerous to whole world

Q: Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?

A: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe.

Q: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran?

A: We have got to make sure that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson

Sarah Palin on War & Peace : Sep 11, 2008
Don’t second-guess Israel if they act against nukes in Iran

Q: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

A: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don’t think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.

Q: So if we wouldn’t second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that?

A: I don’t think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

Q: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right?

A: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 22, 2008
My record on Israel is same as McCain’s

Q: You’re heading to Israel next?

A: Yes.

Q: According to a recent poll out of Jerusalem, Israeli Jews favor John McCain for President 43% to 20%. Why do you think that’s the case?

A: Well, I’m not as well known as John McCain. I think that’s obviously a factor. And, you know, I think, understandably, Israelis are very interested in making sure that whoever takes the White House is absolutely committed to their security, regardless of other issues. And they know John McCain. He’s been there. Despite the fact that my record is as strong as John McCain’s on all the issues related to Israeli security, people just don’t know me as well. That’s part of the reason why we’re gonna spend a day visiting there in discussions and hopefully give people confidence that I have a track record that will assure not only the people of Israel, but friends of Israel back home, that, in fact, Israel’s security is paramount.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 22, 2008
Appropriate for Israel to take out Syrian nuclear reactor

Q: How likely do you think a preemptive military strike by Israel against Iran may be?

A: I will not hypothesize on that. I think Israel has a right to defend itself. But I will not speculate on the difficult judgment that they would have to make in a whole host of possible scenarios.

Q: This is not a speculative question then. Was it appropriate, in your view, for Israel to take out that suspected Syrian nuclear site last year?

A: Yes. I think that there was sufficient evidence that they were developing a site using a nuclear or using a blueprint that was similar to the North Korean model. There was some concern as to what the rationale for that site would be. And, again, ultimately, I think these are decisions that the Israelis have to make. But, you know, the Israelis live in a very tough neighborhood where a lot of folks, publicly proclaim Israel as an enemy and then act on those proclamations.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 22, 2008
Jerusalem should be capital of Israel, pending final status

Q: You said not too long ago that Jerusalem should remain undivided. And then you backtracked on that statement.

A: There was no backtracking. We just had phrased it poorly in the speech. But my policy has been very consistent. It’s the same policy tha Bill Clinton has put forward, and that says that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, that we shouldn’t divide it by barbed wire, but that, ultimately that a final status issue that has to be resolved between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jul 22, 2008
Engaging in tough diplomacy with Iran is a sign of strength

Q: There is skepticism in Israel about you because they’re concerned about your previously stated notion of having talks with Iranian leaders, that somehow that signals to them that you won’t be tough enough to Iran. What’s your response to that?

A: Well, I’m encouraged to see, for example, the Bush administration send an outstanding diplomat, [Undersecretary of State William] Burns, to participate in discussions with Iran. This is what I’ve been talking about for the last year and a half. You know, engaging in tough diplomacy is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. So far the Iranians have not accepted the kinds of talks that we need to deal with in terms of suspending their enrichment program. But the fact that we’ve tried to talk to them then strengthens our hand in the international community when we wanna get Russia or China to help apply the tough sanctions that are gonna be required to make Iranians know that we mean business.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 13, 2008
Jerusalem as joint Palestinian-Israeli capital is ok

Q: You recently supported Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Why not support the Clinton plan, which envisions a divided Jerusalem, the Arab half being the capital of a Palestinian state, the Jewish half being the capital of the Jewish state?

A: The truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech. The point we were simply making was, is that we don’t want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the ‘67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent. I think the Clinton formulation provides a starting point for discussions between the parties. The intention was never to move away from that core idea that a Jewish state depends on their ability to create peace with their neighbors, and that the Palestinian leadership has to acknowledge that the battles that they’ve been fighting, and the rhetoric they’ve been employing, has not delivered for their people.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series on Zakaria’s GPS

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Apr 16, 2008
Take no options off the table if Iran attacks Israel

Q: Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option that poses a threat to Israel. Should it be US policy to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the US?

OBAMA: Our first step should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians. I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons, &that would include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the region.

Q: So you would extend our deterrent to Israel?

OBAMA: It is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one that we would consider unacceptable, and the US would take appropriate action.

Q: Sen. Clinton, would you?

CLINTON: We should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US, but I would do the same with other countries in the region.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Apr 16, 2008
Massive retaliation from US if Iran attacks Israel

Q: Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option that poses a threat to Israel. Should it be US policy to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the US?

OBAMA: I will take no options off the table. It is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, and the US would take appropriate action.

CLINTON: I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US, but I would do the same with other countries in the region. We are at a very dangerous point with Iran. The Bush policy has failed. Iran has not been deterred. #1, we’ve got to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran. #2, we’ve got to deter other countries from feeling that they have to acquire nuclear weapons. And finally, we cannot permit Iran to become a nuclear weapons power.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Feb 2, 2008
Two-state solution: Israel & Palestine side-by-side in peace

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 50-55

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2007
Believed, with others, that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon

Q: Are the Revolutionary Guards proliferators of mass destruction?

A: Well, many of us believe that. Earlier this year, Senator Edwards told an audience in Israel that the nuclear threat from Iran was the greatest threat to our generation. Back in 2004, Senator Obama told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board that he would even consider nukes to take out Iran’s nuclear capacity. So there was a very broadly based belief that they were pursuing a nuclear weapon.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy : Nov 25, 2007
Israel should not give up West Bank or Golan Heights

Q: Should Israel give up the West Bank?

A: No, I don’t think so. I have been to Israel 9 times. I have been all throughout the Middle East. Anyone who goes to Israel, and just understands the unique geography and the unique tension that surrounds that area, it would be very problematic for Israel to give up the West Bank, from their own standpoint of security. The same thing with the Golan Heights--giving up the Golan Heights makes most of Galilee a sitting target. Now it’s their government. They’ll make that decision, not me. But I certainly could not encourage them to give up the West Bank.

Q: If they’re not going to give up the West Bank or the Golan Heights, what are they going to negotiate about?

A: There are a lot of options that involve other territory that doesn’t have to include the West Bank or the Golan Heights. But let’s be honest, there is not going to be some instant kumbaya moment. The best we can hope for is that there will be some level of loosening of the hostilities.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer

Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy : Nov 25, 2007
Not yet ready for two-state solution for Israel & Palestine

Q: Do you support a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine side by side, as Pres. Bush says he supports?

A: Well, I would want to see where that side-by-side exists, because if you do something that puts the Israelis in a position of ultimate vulnerability, that may not be a healthy solution. You’ve got to realize that there are people in that region who have stated that their primary purpose is to annihilate Israel, to do away with them. And if you surround them by hostility and give them very little room in which to maneuver, you may not have created anything other than a very, very temporary peace, but for a long-term disaster.

Q: So I guess you’re not ready to endorse a two-state solution yet?

A: Not until you see where those two states are going to be located and whether or not there is going to be some guarantee of security and concessions on the part of the nations that would surround Israel. And the Israelis would have to be comfortable with it.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Nov 11, 2007
2001 speech to AIPAC pledges money for Israeli military

On a visit to Gaza City in 1998, Hillary met with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and his wife and declared, well ahead of the official line from the White House, her support for a Palestinian state. Her husband’s spokesperson had to distance him from her comment.

As a senator, however, one of her first major speeches was to AIPAC, the Israeli lobby group where she pledged to work to send more money, not for peacekeeping, or to both sides, but for Israel’s military. (She’s spoken to AIPAC many times since.)

On the fortieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza, Clinton joined the rest of the Senate in sending a message of congratulations and support to the Israeli government. No encouraging message went to the Palestinians still enduring occupation.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p. 34

John Bolton on Foreign Policy : Nov 6, 2007
Organized repeal of UN "Zionism is racism" resolution

Most important was the effort to repeal General Assembly Resolution 3379, the infamous 1975 text equating Zionism with racism, and a clear effort to delegitimize Israel. Passage of "Z/r" as we called it, had instead delegitimized the UN in the minds of many Americans.

During the Cold War, there was essentially no chance that the Soviets would give up their hard-won victory. With the advent of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union, however, I saw the possibility of righting the historic wrong represented by "Z/r" and also demonstrating that the US might actually be able once again to win highly contentious votes in the General Assembly. Yes, Resolution 3379 was a shameful thing, but it would be a huge effort to repeal. "Let it lie on the shelves and gather dust" was the way one Soviet diplomat put it to me.

Persistence paid off. As one of its last official acts before it dissolved, the Soviet Union voted to repeal the resolution it had inspired. "Z/r" was dead.

Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Surrender is Not an Option, by John Bolton, p. 40-42

Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy : Sep 17, 2007
Don’t pressure Israel to give up land for promise of peace

Q: Past presidents have expected Israel to give up land, not for peace but for the promise of peace. With this mindset, Pres. Bush introduced the “roadmap” in 2003, yet 60 terrorist acts are attempted & 300 rockets fall every month in Israel. Will you stand behind Israel to not give up land for unfulfilled promises of peace, even in the face of opposition of European & Arab countries?
Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: [Xref Paul] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 6, 2007
Prevent Iran from becoming nuclear power by diplomacy first

Q: [to Clinton]: Would the Israelis be justified in taking military action if they felt their security was threatened by a nuclear presence in Iran?

CLINTON: I’m not going to answer that because it’s hypothetical. There would need to be a high standard of proof.

Q: Rudy Giuliani said, “Iran is not going to be allowed to build a nuclear power. If they get to a point where they’re going to become a nuclear power, we will prevent them; we will set them back 8 to 10 years. That is not said as a threat; that should be said as a promise.“ Would you make that promise?

CLINTON: I will do everything I can to prevent Iran from becoming an nuclear power, including the use of diplomacy, the use of economic sanctions, opening up direct talks. We haven’t even tried. That’s what is so discouraging about this. We need a concerted, comprehensive strategy to deal with Iran. We haven’t had it. We need it. And I will provide it.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Sep 5, 2007
Deal with Iran nukes with Dems at home & with allies abroad

Q: Would you go to war with Iran if they developed nuclear weapons & threatened Israel?

A: Well, clearly your hypothetical suggests that everything we’ve done, up until this point and beyond, didn’t work. And there’s a lot we can do to keep that scenario from occurring. Before you actually take military action, what you do next is this: the president meets with leaders, Republican and Democrat, to make sure we’re all on the same page. We want to make sure that Democrats sign up, that we’re all part of this on a unified basis. Number two, you meet with our allies around the world and make sure we’re on the same page on this, including China & Saudi Arabia. Now we take the military option off the table. When they see our military in our hand, a possible blockade or possible aerial strikes, they recognize we mean business. And that’s going to make them think twice and, hopefully, abandon their folly. Because it is unacceptable to the world for us to have a nuclear Iran.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News

Hillary Clinton on Education : Sep 4, 2007
1986: HIPPY program empowers parents as kids' first teach

Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters was developed in Israel in 1969 to help new immigrants prepare their young children to succeed in school. HIPPY empowers parents as their children's first teachers by giving them the tools, skills, and confidence to work with their children at home. The program is designed to help those families coping with poverty.

In 1986, Hillary helped establish a HIPPY program in Arkansas. Hillary wrote, "When we brought HIPPY into rural areas and housing projects in Arkansas, a number of educators and others did not believe that parents who had not finished high school were up to the task of teaching their children. Not only did the program help kids get jump-started in the right direction, it also gave the parents a boost in self-confidence." In 1988, HIPPY USA was established as an independent NGO headquartered in New York City. There are now about 146 HIPPY programs in twenty-five states, serving more than sixteen thousand children anf their families.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Giving, by Bill Clinton, p. 71-73

Hillary Clinton on Families & Children : Sep 4, 2007
Grew AR Children's Hospital to one of nation's 10 largest

Hillary cofounded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families; served on the board of our Children's Hospital and helped with its fund-raising drive (it became one of the nation's ten largest children's hospitals in a state with o 2.8 million people); brought an excellent preschool program form Israel to poor families in our state; headed a task force that increased access to health care for people in small towns and rural areas; and chaired a committee that devel standards for our schools.

Hillary did the things she did because she wanted to make a difference. And she did then because it made her happy to see another baby in a small town get health care, another young child smiling at her pre ceremony, another student from a rural area become the first in his family to go to college, another woman break through the glass ceiling at a law firm.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Giving, by Bill Clinton, p. xi

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jul 18, 2007
Allegedly pro-PLO in 1960; but pro-Israel by 1981

In 1981, while the Clintons campaigned to win back the governorship, their pastor, Vaught approached them about a trip to Israel. As Bill and Hillary found themselves struggling spiritually and politically to put Bill back in the governor’s mansion, the couple decided to go.

In contrast to the anti-Israel version of Hillary portrayed during parts of the 1970s, some sources claim this trip gave Hillary an inspired appreciation for the state of Israel, and if so, it may have mitigated her alleged pro-PLO sympathies, giving more balance in her perspective. A friend of the Clintons says: “Bill and Hillary understood the profound effect that Israel has on American Jews and around the world and share a feeling for the security and stability of the State of Israel.”

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. 70-71

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Jun 3, 2007
Address gay behavior if problematic, not gay attitudes

Q: Most of our closest allies, including Great Britain and Israel, allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military. Is it time to end “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military?

PAUL: I think the current policy is a decent policy. If there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. But if there’s heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. So it isn’t the issue of homosexuality.

HUCKABEE: It’s already covered by the Uniform Code of Military Conduct. I think that’s what Congressman Paul was saying. It’s about conduct, it’s not about attitude. You don’t punish people for their attitudes. You punish them if their behavior creates a problem.

Q: So you wouldn’t change existing policy.?

HUCKABEE: I don’t think that I would. I think it’s already covered by the existing policy that we do have, in fact.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : May 14, 2007
Supported Palestine in 1998, before Bill officially did

In 1998, Hillary laid out her vision for the future of the Middle East: “It would be in the long-term interests of peace in the Middle East for there to be a state of Palestine, a functioning modern state that is on the same footing as other states.” The White House raced to clarify the remarks as Hillary’s own.

Several months later, while attending a meeting of the Palestinian National Council, Hillary praised Yasser Arafat’s leadership and again called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

In 1999, while traveling in the Middle East, Hillary had a joint appearance with Yasser Arafat’s wife, Suha. Ms. Arafat took the occasion to accuse Israel of poisoning her people. It was an outlandish accusation, but it did not stop Hillary from giving Suha a kiss when she finished talking.

Roll forward 8 months. Hillary, now a candidate for the Senate, called for moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, “the eternal & indivisible capital of Israel.”

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p. 88-90

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Apr 26, 2007
Palestinian people suffer-but from not recognizing Israel

Q: You said recently, “No one is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” Do you stand by that remark?

A: Well, keep in mind what the remark actually, if you had the whole thing, said. And what I said is nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region. Israel is the linchpin of much of our efforts in the Middle East.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Apr 26, 2007
FactCheck: Palestinian suffering from stalled peace effort

Obama defended his remark that “nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people,” a statement attacked by some pro-Israel activists. His version differed in tone if not in substance from the way it was originally reported, however. Obama claimed in the debate that he meant “the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize , to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region.” That’s somewhat different from the way Obama was quoted March 12. As reported, Obama attributed Palestinian suffering to “the stalled peace efforts with Israel” and not so narrowly to failures by Palestinian leadership only. However, the Des Moines Register also reported that Obama praised Israel as an important US ally and urged the Palestinian government to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism. So far as we can tell, the Register had the only reporter present at the event and no full transcript exists.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2007 South Carolina Democratic debate

Mike Bloomberg on Foreign Policy : Apr 24, 2007
Four trips abroad in first four months of 2007

Mayor Bloomberg’s trip to Mexico today, his fourth visit to a foreign country in as many months, is adding fuel to the speculation that he is attempting to shore up his international credentials and raise his national profile in preparation for a White House run.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg visited England, Ireland, and Israel, and he has shown up in the presidential swing states of Ohio and Florida. He made a high-profile visit to Los Angeles in September. Last week, he appeared in Jersey City flanked by mayors and police officers to announce an advertising blitz for his national campaign targeting illegal guns.

Officials said today’s trip was planned to allow Bloomberg to examine Mexico’s program that pays impoverished families for meeting certain health, education, and employment goals. Bloomberg has reached into his own pocket to help pay for a pilot program starting in N.Y. this fall that is modeled on one in Mexico.

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Grace Rauh, New York Sun

Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy : Jan 4, 2007
Support Israel as strategic ally, but respect Palestine

I’ve visited Israel 9 times, and strongly believe in its right to exist & the important example it has set forth in its seriousness toward its own security as well as the admirable expectation it has of its people to be stakeholders in its preservation. Even though I support Israel, its boundaries, and its future, and believe its alliance with the US is one of great strategic value, a conversation with a Palestinian reminded me that the issue is not simple.

The Palestinian was relocated had been told one day that he would be relocated to a Palestinian camp and that his neighborhood would be occupied by Israelis. It was always easy to me to understand why the Jews, having been displaced for thousands of years, would feel a divine right to return to the land promised to their forefathers and previously taken from them. But Palestinians are still human beings who deserve to be treated respectfully since they personally have not done wrong and now are being forced from what has been their home.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p.137

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Oct 17, 2006
Supports Israel’s self-defense; but distrusted by Israelis

The Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” convened a panel of experts to assess and track 2008 presidential candidates and evaluate “whom they consider best for Israel.” In Sept. 2006, Obama came in dead last, 18th in a field of 18. However, Haaretz also notes that during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, Obama was careful to defend Israel’s right to defend itself against Hezbollah’s attacks.

Pro: Obama will be uniquely positioned to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict.
A liberal Democrat who is not trusted by Israeli experts is exactly what the US and the world needs. Only by treating Palestinian rights with dignity can the Middle East problem be resolved.

Con: President Obama will be widely detested in the Muslim world.
If Obama comes to power, it will be on the basis of blending authentic Christian religiosity with an inspiring message of tolerance and diversity. Unfortunately, this message runs exactly opposite to the core values of fundamentalist Islam.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Should Barack Obama Be President?, by Fred Zimmerman, p.64-5

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2006
Supports border security fence in Israel

Hillary worked closely with Jewish leaders to oppose the International Court of Justice passing judgment on the legality of Israel’s security fence. Clinton released a statement supporting the fence as a “legitimate response” to terrorist attacks.

In 2004 Hillary stated that a suicide bombing in Jerusalem “shows the day-to-day danger that Israelis face and that has caused the Israeli government to decide that it must build a fence to protect its people.”

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p.128

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 17, 2005
Obligation to support Israel with more than foreign aid

(Senator Hillary Clinton, letter to Colin Powell, April 9, 2002)(Senator Hillary Clinton, American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, May 24, 2005)
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p.210-211

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jul 15, 2004
Problems with current Israeli policy

Obama will speak before a Jewish audience and talk about his problems with Israeli policy in a way that inspires trust, rather than the kind of disagreement that you often find when that happens.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Salim Muwakkil and Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jul 12, 2004
Use moral authority to work towards Middle East peace

[The US should] use American moral authority and credibility to help achieve Middle East peace. Our first and immutable commitment must be to the security of Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East and the only democracy. We must be consistent and we must include the EU and the Arab States in pressing for reforms within the Palestinian community.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Press Release, “Renewal of American Leadership ”

Rahm Emanuel on Homeland Security : Jun 21, 2004
U.S. citizen but served in Israeli army

In 1991, we also persuaded another young Chicagoan, Rahm Emanuel, to join our campaign. Rahm had worked with Wilhelm in the successful campaigns of Mayor Richard Daley and Senator Paul Simon. He was a slight, intense ma who had studied ballet and, though an American citizen, had served in the Israeli army. Rahm was so aggressive he made me look laid-back. We made him finance director, a job in which an underfunded campaign needs an aggressor.
Click for Rahm Emanuel on other issues.   Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.376-377

Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy : Apr 27, 2004
Support Israel in its battle against terrorism

Gov. Jeb Bush pledged to support Israel in its battle against terrorism and said Americans have a better understanding of the fear Israelis face daily after living through the Sept. 11 attacks. In a speech celebrating Israel's 56th Independence Day, Bush lauded his brother, President Bush, for reinforcing the alliance between the two countries at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Gov. Bush said the April 14 meeting "made little doubt about our country's commitment to Israel and the vision of two states living in peace and security."

President Bush endorsed Sharon's offer to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank in exchange for concessions on settlements. Palestinians criticized the plan. Gov. Bush said, "This new US policy, I think, will bring about the chance of lasting peace far better than the current status quo. And if there's any attempt to impose a different vision, the US is committed to intervene and provide support to the state of Israel."

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Associated Press in St. Petersburg Times

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 25, 2001
Alienated Jewish voters by kissing Mrs. Arafat

Hillary faced a problem with Jewish voters after kissing Suha Arafat, the wife of Yasir Arafat, shortly after the first Lady of the Palestine Liberation Army charged Israelis with using poison gas on Palestinians. The first lady of the United States explained that she hadn’t understood the translation of Madam Arafat’s remarks. When the actual and quite clear translation was made public and the excuse evaporated, she retreated to a mushier explanation, and then silence.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Final Days, by Barbara Olson, p. 38

Condoleezza Rice on War & Peace : Oct 16, 2001
Goal is steady progress toward Israel-Palestine peace

Q: Your views on the Mitchell Process, which lays out a road map toward meaningful political negotiations toward a final status of Palestine?

A: Our goal has been to make certain that we make steady progress toward getting back into the Mitchell plan. It is also important that we work with other Arab leaders. The President does imagine a Palestinian state as a part of his vision for the future.

Q: Would East Jerusalem be the capital of such a state?

A: We understand the importance of Jerusalem to the great religions of the world, and we believe that this is something that must be settled in final status negotiations.

A: Should people in the Arab world look forward to a US plan for the Middle East to be announced?

A: We are constantly evaluating how we can best push the process of Middle East peace forward. I wouldn’t put any time line on what the US might do next. We really do believe right now that our best strategy is to work with the parties to get into the Mitchell Process.

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: National Security Advisor Interview with Al Jazeera TV

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 28, 2000
Cut off US aid if Palestine declares a state unilaterally

Q: In recent weeks, scores of people have been killed in the Middle East. In view of what’s happened, do you think there should be a Palestinian state now?

CLINTON: Only as part of a comprehensive peace agreement. That’s always been my position, that [it should] guarantee Israel’s safety and security and the parties should agree at the negotiating table. A unilateral declaration is absolutely unacceptable and it would mean the end of any US aid.

LAZIO: That’s a change of heart for Mrs. Clinton, because back in 1998 you called for a Palestinian state. You undercut the Israeli negotiating position. The people of New York want to have somebody who has a consistent record. For eight years I have been consistent and strong in my support for the security of the state of Israel. Without equivocation. Without a question mark next to my name.

CLINTON: There is no question mark next to me. There’s an exclamation point. I am an emphatic, unwavering supporter of Israel’s safety and security.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: NY Senate debate on NBC

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 28, 2000
Focuses on increasing relationship between US and Israel

LAZIO [to Hillary]: It’s very hard to accept a claim of consistency [on Israel] when you called for a Palestinian state with full military powers. It’s difficult to accept that you are a consistent supporter when you stand on the sidelines while Suha Arafat issues a blood libel suggesting that Israelis have been orchestrating an attack on Palestinian women and children with poison. It’s hard for us to imagine you’ve been a consistent supporter when you refused to support the law which says that we should move our embassy to Jerusalem, not next year, but right now. For eight years I’ve wanted the embassy to be placed in Jerusalem. CLINTON: My positions for more than 20 years have been to do everything I could to support Israel and to increase the relationships between the US and Israel. I’ve worked on everything from the National Council of Jewish Women’s program to bring a preschool instruction program for children of the US, to speaking out, time and time again, about violence and terrorism.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: (X-ref Lazio) NY Senate debate on NBC

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 20, 2000
Keep Cuban embargo; pay UN bills

Hillary Clinton said she would oppose lifting the embargo against Cuba until democracy took root there. She said she would support paying America’s unpaid bills to the United Nations. She once again voiced her support for Israel and, while praising the tentative cease-fire agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians reached Monday, she made it clear the burden was on Yasir Arafat to end the violence.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Dean Murphy, NY Times

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Jul 2, 2000
Support Israel, our unsinkable Mideast aircraft carrier

The U.S. must continue to nurture and safeguard our special relationship with the state of Israel. This relationship must remain the cornerstone of our policy tactics through the entire Middle-East region, as it has been for administrations of both parties for more than half a century.

Why do we have this special relationship? It is not out of charity, guilt, or what some call “ethnic lobbies.” We have been there for Israel because Israel is there for us. Israel is a stable democracy in a region filled with dictatorship.

As Israel has matured, our close ties also bring America a fair trading partner and a fellow pioneer on the high-tech frontier of medicine and communications that will enrich Americans’ lives in the coming century. Our two countries must continue to stand strong together as pillars of freedom and progress.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.132-33

Condoleezza Rice on Immigration : Jun 25, 2000
No backlash from knowledge-based Asian immigration

Q: Do you see any backlash to Europeans buying up American companies and Europeans working here?

A: A lot of the knowledge-based immigration is not European. It is Asian. If you go down to Intel and you stand in the elevator, the software engineers around you are likely to be Pakistani or Indian or Israeli or Russian, but I do not think that it is causing a backlash, maybe because the economy is so strong. There are people who want to make it a backlash, but it is not really resonating.

The long-term challenge is that as job creation is happening at the high end, the skill level of the population is not really picking up. So education has become a kind of surrogate hot-button issue for this divide between people who can work in Silicon Valley and people who cannot. And because it is partly disproportionately minorities who are not making it into those jobs that is a real danger. It is less focused on foreigners coming here to do that than it is the ill-preparedness of Americans.

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: TIES-Webzine interview at Hoover Institution, Stanford Univ.

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : May 26, 2000
Support Israel in finding a safe and secure peace

Hillary Clinton supports a move [of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem]. She spoke more generally yesterday about what she called her longstanding respect for the country and its people. “The United States has been and will be always there for Israel,” she said. “And we will always support the Israeli government and Israeli people as they struggle to find a safe and secure peace.”

She stayed away from more controversial topics, such as whether there should be an independent Palestinian state. Mrs. Clinton angered many Jewish voters last year with when she voiced support for such a state. But the animosity felt by some in the crowd toward Mrs. Clinton was evident on nearly every block, with some holding signs recalling her embrace last year of Yasir Arafat’s wife, Suha.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Associated Press in NY Times

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Nov 11, 1999
Smartest strategic choice is peace

By working for peace, we are not being naive or soft-headed. We recognize that peace in the Middle East is not only a moral imperative, but the smartest strategic choice to ensure security for the children of Israel. That doesn’t mean that Israel can ever let down her defenses. It doesn’t mean that her friends, especially the US, will ever be relieved of our responsibility to help Israel maintain her military strength.The work of peace and the work of democracy are neverending.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Remarks at Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Nov 11, 1999
Extend peace treaties to Palestinians, Syrians & Lebanese

The message of Oslo [was]: How we can fulfill Rabin’s legacy by bidding farewell to generations of war and ushering in a new century of real and lasting peace? The same must be true on all of Israel’s borders so that the peace that now covers some will be a peace that extends to all-Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Remarks at Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center

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