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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Campaign: The United States of “Israel”?

Nour Rida  

Its 2012, the presidential battle in the United States of America started its real warm up. Since the current US President Barack Obama took office in 2009, he has only been adding up more stories to the “Tell some Obama administration memoirs”. He has spent his term collecting the scattered US administration and people, who had suffered a lot during the Bush era, but not too long before he even did worse. 

The failing health care plan, the ballooning nation’s debts reaching past $15 trillion, the expansion of US military activity worldwide-including the drones buzzing over several countries and aiming for haphazard targets under the pretext of counter-terrorism, the ongoing financial support for “Israel’s” Iron Dome and War system at the time some Americans still live in tents upon loss of their homes during the Global financial crisis back in 2009, and the list of O’bummer achievements is endless. Oh and did we forget to mention the oil spill in the Mexican gulf that has led to a natural disaster? All that among claims that economy is on the mend…

In his May 2011 speech on the Middle East, President Obama described the US commitment to “Israel’s” security as “unshakeable”. Also in 2011, the Obama administration requested $3 billion in Foreign Military financing for “Israel”, the highest level since 2003. According to the State Department, the assistance is aimed at maintaining “Israel’s” “qualitative military edge” and ensuring “the security it requires to make concessions necessary for comprehensive regional peace.”

Today, after all the relentless efforts Obama has made to support “Israel”, nearly all Republican presidential candidates have expressed resentment towards the Obama administration for what they said is waning support for “Israel”. They also have expressed strong backing for “Israel”, as quotes the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Beginning with Representative Michele Bachmann, she cites her Christian background as the foundation of her support for “Israel”. “”Israel” is not merely the cradle of my faith; it’s the greatest strategic asset the United States has in the region.” She says, stressing that “the United States should ensure that “Israel” gets “stronger and stronger” so that it is able to defend itself “at all times and under all circumstances.”

Bachmann said she would “fully recognize al-Quds (Jerusalem) as “Israel’s” undivided capital, and will be the first administration to finally implement the laws passed by Congress requiring the State Department to move the US Embassy to al-Quds (Jerusalem).”

As for Newt Gingrich, in his remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition in December 2011, former speaker of the House Gingrich said the greatest obstacle is that “Israel” should not be expected to negotiate with any Palestinian coalition that includes Hamas, “an organization dedicated to its destruction.” Gingrich, criticizing Obama’s stance on pre-1967 borders as a basis for negotiations during his May 2011 speech on the Middle East, said it is “a suicidal step for “Israel”.”

Gingrich supports the recognition of Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of a Jewish state,” and has also vowed, if elected, to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem). 

In a December 2011 interview, Gingrich questioned the historical basis of a distinct Palestinian people, stating “remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community.”
As for Jon Huntsman, he believes “the foundation of a successful US policy in the Middle East rests upon a strong US-”Israel” relationship.”

Huntsman says the “best chance for peace is for “Israel” to know that America stands shoulder-to-shoulder beside her and for the Palestinians and “Israelis” to negotiate with each other.”

Writing in the National Review Online, Huntsman referred to the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN as a “cynical, counterproductive ploy.”

In the short term, he says, “We must work to regain the confidence of our friends in Israel so that meaningful work toward an enduring peace can begin.”

Representative Ron Paul, for his part, calls for a reduced US diplomatic role in Arab-”Israeli” affairs, including cutting off foreign aid to “Israel” and other countries in the region. Perhaps being less diplomatic on “Israel” would help him arrive in office… He says the United States buys “Israel’s” allegiance and “they sacrifice their sovereignty to us.”

Paul has also been critical, referring to the 2009 “Israeli” invasion of Gaza as a “sad day” that demonstrated the “unfortunate” spread of preemptive war.

He has described conditions in Gaza as a “tragedy” similar to that of a concentration camp. He opposed House Resolution 34, a 2009 congressional motion formalizing U.S. support for Israel’s actions in Gaza. Paul said he was “appalled by the longstanding Israeli blockade of Gaza–a cruel act of war–and the tremendous loss of life that has resulted from the latest “Israeli” attack.”

Now Texas Governor Rick Perry, a strong advocate of U.S.-”Israeli” relations, describes the latter as a special partner and the US’s “oldest and strongest ally in the Middle East.”

Perry condemned the White House for suggesting the 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations, and described the Palestinian insistence on the “right of return” of refugees as “a disturbing sign that the ultimate Palestinian ‘solution’ remains the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Perry says the Obama administration has encouraged Palestinians to “take steps backward” from the peace process by demanding an Israeli settlement freeze in late 2010.

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition Forum in December 2011, Perry said, “I support the goal of a Palestinian state, but it should be the Palestinians who meet certain preconditions,” These preconditions include a statehood “directly negotiated between “Israeli” and the Palestinian leaders; second, a Palestinian recognition of “Israel’s” right to exist as a Jewish state; and third, Palestinian leaders must renounce the terrorist activities of Hamas.”

Under the title “An American Century”, which outlines his foreign policy strategy, Republican candidate Mitt Romney describes “Israel” as the closest US ally in the Middle East, and said he will work to maintain “Israel’s” “strategic military edge.” He iterated that “The key to negotiating a lasting peace is an “Israel” that knows it will be secure.”

Romney said he will oppose “any measure,” such as a moratorium on Jewish settlements, “that would frustrate direct negotiations” between the two parties.” In the November 2011, foreign policy debate, Romney said, “My first foreign trip will be to “Israel”, to show the world we care about that country and that region.”

Just like his fellow candidates, Lawyer and former United States Senator from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum has denied the existence of a Palestinian people, stating that “All the people who live in the West Bank are “Israelis”, they are not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian. This is “Israeli” land.”

In a November campaign stop, the candidate also strongly condemned the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, describing the move as “an embarrassment to this country,” and “an offense to the state of “Israel”.”

In the National Review Online in May 2011, Santorum wrote that “Israel” “has never been in more danger of disappearing” and described it as “surrounded by an armed alliance of Jihadist fundamentalists and nationalists.” 

The 57th quadrennial United States Presidential Election will be held on November 6, 2012, and it will be expected to feature the incumbent, President Barack Obama for the Democrats, against a yet to be decided Republican candidate all “Israel”-friendly. 

All Republican candidates have exploited the stuttering economy, runaway public debt and the lack of viable solutions as well as the rise to the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially in light of a Democratic administration under which the gap between the rich and poor has widened.

By Nour Rida.  Article originally posted here

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