Monday, October 3, 2011

Republican Presidential candidates talk Israel

GOP Hopeful (Former Frontrunner) Texas Governor Rick Perry got this week an extraordinary chance to express his position on Israel and the Middle east, not in a high profile appearance on national stage, but to a 10 year old girl in NH.

From the LAtimes:
Saturday in New Hampshire, Texas Gov. Rick Perry got a question he wasn’t expecting. Well, it wasn’t the question that was surprising so much as the person who asked it.

During a morning meet-and-greet in the banquet room of the Atkinson Resort & Country Club, a public golf course in a bucolic part of southeast New Hampshire, a little red-headed girl raised her hand.

“What is your policy on the state of Israel?” asked 10-year-old Maya Levine, a fifth grader at Atkinson Academy, the second oldest co-educational school in America. Maya had come with her parents and little brother, Ilan, to hear the aspiring Republican presidential nominee.

“Our allies do not know where America will be on any given day because of the muddled, aimless, wavering foreign policy that we have coming out of the White House today,” Perry said.

“Iran is one of the great problems in the Middle East, They are, I would suggest, the greatest threat to the future of Israel. And in ‘09, we naively were having conversations with the Syrian and the Iranian governments, rather than supporting that civil uprising in that country.…We should have been using everything that we had available -- our diplomatic abilities, our economic sanctions, overt, covert and civic -- to impact and help overthrow one of the most oppressive regimes that there is in the world, and we failed.”

“The idea that the Palestinian Authority was at the U.N. last week was a failure of American diplomacy, This administration has sent such weak messages about where America stands with the longest-serving democracy in the Middle East, our oldest friend in the Middle East: Israel.

“I will tell you one thing, that when I’m the president of the United States, our allies are not going to have to worry whether America is for them…We will be supporting them militarily, economically and otherwise, and particularly in Israel."
 Another GOP hopeful, and the current Frontrunner (till Chris Christie decides whether to jump in), Mitt Romney will deliver a major foreign policy speech in Charleston, South Carolina at The Citadel Friday, where he'll discuss changes that he believes will "keep America the leader of the world."

Romney made the announcement about the upcoming speech on talk radio host Sean Hannity's program 77WABC Monday afternoon.
"I think our president has pursued a series of strategies that have lead to our decline economically and militarily, and so in that context I'm going to be talking about a very different vision," said Romney. 
Romney discussed peace negotiations with Israel and Palestine, and delivered a hard-line stance on Iran's move toward nuclearization. "Of course you have to have a military option that's available to us and I don't think this president has communicated to the world that that's an option we would consider, I think you have to let them know that a military option is something that is very much on the table for us and that it is unacceptable for the world and to America for Iran to become a nuclear nation.

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