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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Romney on Israel/Palestine
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 6:26 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:"I'm torn by two perspectives in this regard," Romney is shown saying. "One is the one which I've had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."
Romney goes on to describe the obstacles he sees toward developing a so-called "two state solution" that would establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. He cites problems of geography, including the proximity to Tel Aviv of a potential border between the two states, as preventing any real progression toward the two states.
"These are problems-these are very hard to solve, all right?" Romney says on the tape. "And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, 'There's just no way.'"
His role as president, Romney says, would be to "move things along the best way you can."
"You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem," he concludes. "We kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, called Romney's comments "dangerous" Tuesday.
"He seems to think of himself as a mind reader since he claims to know what Palestinian intentions are," Ashrawi said. "It seems to me it is about time that he stops pandering to the Israeli lobby and funders by selling out Palestinian rights and by destroying the chances of peace in the region. Such statements are dangerous and could be irreparable damage to American credability and standings not just in the Middle East but throughout the world," Ashrawi added.
In public, Romney has declared support for the two-state solution: "The decision as to where the borders would be, as we move to a two-state solution, which I support. I hope that's a process which is ongoing and ultimately successful."
At a CNN-sponsored debate in Florida in January, however, Romney used terms similar to those used at the fund-raiser to address the notion of a two-state solution.
"There are some people who say, should we have a two-state solution? And the Israelis would be happy to have a two-state solution. It's the Palestinians who don't want a two-state solution."
Romney said. The debate was held in the heat of the GOP primaries.
Romney continued: "The best way to have peace in the Middle East is not for us to vacillate and to appease, but is to say, 'We stand with our friend Israel. We are committed to a Jewish state in Israel. We will not have an inch of difference between ourselves and our ally, Israel.'"
The tapes revealed Tuesday are the latest in a cache of material given to Mother Jones showing Romney speaking candidly to supporters at a fund-raiser. Appearing on MSNBC late Monday night, the author of the Mother Jones article, David Corn, said the event took place May 17 in Boca Raton, Florida, at the home of Sun Capital executive Marc Leder. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/18/in-new-tape-romney-casts-doubt-on-peace-in-israel/?hpt=hp_t1
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:07 AM
"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:40 AM
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 5:56 PM
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)
Thursday, September 20, 2012 8:05 AM
Thursday, September 20, 2012 10:33 AM
Quote:Romney, answering a question from the audience, said, “The Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”
He went on: “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.”
The previous sentence doesn’t track very smoothly, but you get the point. Romney was endorsing the hard line articulated by former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who said “the Arabs are the same Arabs and the sea is the same sea” -- which is to say, the Arabs are unswervingly committed to drowning the Jews in the Mediterranean.
What, then, should American policy be? Romney said the best we can hope for is “some degree of stability,” while recognizing that the problem will remain unsolved. “We live with that in China and Taiwan,” he said. “All right, we have a potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.”
So where is Romney wrong, and where is he right?
He is wrong to speak of “the Palestinians” as a single entity. He obviously knows that the Palestinians are divided between two main factions: the self-styled moderates of Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank; and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, which rules the Gaza Strip.
The West Bank and the Gaza Strip would together constitute the state of Palestine as currently envisioned by international peace processors, but the two parties are waging an intermittent civil war, and have radically different visions about the nature, purpose and size of their as-yet unborn state. The Palestinian Authority is committed, it says, to a two-state solution. Hamas is committed, it says, to the destruction of Israel.
There is a third important group in the mix: Palestinian refugees, and descendants of refugees, who live in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries of the Middle East. Many of these refugees tend to be more radical than the Palestinian Authority but aren’t necessarily affiliated with Hamas.
But he neglected to mention another relevant fact: Palestinian leaders aren’t the only ones unwilling to move toward meaningful negotiations. The government of Israel, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has for three years shown no interest in anything other than maintaining the status quo.
The continued construction of settlements on the West Bank, approved by the Netanyahu government, is meant to thwart the emergence of a Palestinian state. New pockets of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem are meant to deny Palestinians a capital in the Arab section of the city. The Netanyahu government has said it endorses the idea of a two-state solution, but the Palestinian state it envisions is a nonviably small one surrounded by Jewish settlements.
Netanyahu is a smart man, and he knows that no Palestinian leader, even the most moderate one imaginable, would ever accede to a state that adds up to less than 100 percent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But Netanyahu is also a political survivor, and he is playing to a base that won’t give up its dream of a Greater Israel, and that doesn’t think Palestinians deserve what Israelis already have.
Romney isn’t wrong to say the Palestinians seem uninterested in real compromise. He just neglected to mention that the other player in this conflict isn’t particularly interested, either. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-19/romney-s-most-glaring-omission-on-middle-east-peace.html
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