Monday, February 21, 2011

Governor Palin on the Issues: Israel

In recent weeks, America's relationship with our ally, Israel, has come into focus once again. As the Obama administration has failed to coalesce around a coherent strategy with regards to recent protests in Egypt, the potential for a group like the Muslim Brotherhood to become involved in Egypt's new government is particularly worrisome. To call the Muslim Brotherhood anti-Israel would be an understatement and to see them as a group without a religious/political agenda would be foolish, yet President Obama's own Director of National Intelligence referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as "largely secular". Additionally, our UN ambassador was poised to vote to rebuke of Israel for building settlements on the West Bank before vetoing such a proposal. However, Ambassador Rice stated that the veto should not be, " seen as an endorsement of Israel's settlement policies, which the Obama administration has repeatedly denounced". This extremely poor treatment of Israel is sadly commonplace in the Obama administration. On two occasions, President Obama did not allow cameras into meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During one of those meetings in March 2010, President Obama abandoned Netanyahu during tough talks regarding Israeli settlements to have dinner with his family. Additionally, during a visit to Israel,as a response to Israel's announcement of further settlement construction Vice President Joe Biden arrived an hour and a half late to a dinner with the Israeli Prime Minister as a disapproving response to Israel's announcement of further settlement construction. Suffice it to say, the Obama administration's approach to its relationship to America's ally, Israel, has been weak, misguided, and immature.

Contrast the Obama administration's approach with Governor Palin's stance on Israel. Governor Palin's support for Israel is not only found on her lapel, it is found in nearly every speech she gives and every foreign policy related answers to interview questions and is a consistent mention in her Facebook posts. Most recently, Governor Palin has emphasized the importance of remembering Israel in discussion of Egypt's new government. She did so in her question and answer session at the Long Island Association on Friday. In a recent interview with Sean Hannity, she also discussed the Muslim Brotherhood's potential effect on Israel if it is involved in Egypt's new government:

Governor Palin recognizes that it is imperative for America to stand with Israel when Egypt, an ally of Israel, has the potential to be led by a group with an anti-Israel agenda. Governor Palin's support for Israel goes far beyond these recent comments about events in Egypt, however. She has stood with Israel in their relationships with Iran and Palestine.

Governor Palin has been critical of the Obama administration's appeasement mentality towards America's enemies coupled with poor treatment of Israel with regards to Israeli-Palestinian relationships. She called for a reset with Israel in a Facebook post last March:
In the midst of all this embracing of enemies, where does the Obama Administration choose to escalate a minor incident into a major diplomatic confrontation? With Iran, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea or Burma? No. With our treasured ally, Israel.


Once again, the Obama Administration is missing the boat on a very, very important issue. They need to go back to the basics and acknowledge Palestinian leaders have not progressed any peace process since President Obama was elected. As Israel makes concessions (and is still criticized by the Obama Administration), Arab leaders are just sitting back waiting for the White House to further pressure Israel. The Obama Administration needs to open its eyes and recognize that it is only Iran and her terrorist allies that benefit from this manufactured Israeli controversy. Vice President Biden was actually right when he said last week, before the construction announcement, that “one necessary precondition for progress is that the rest of the world knows...there is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to security.” Right now, thanks to the Obama Administration, there is a chasm. It’s time for President Obama to push the reset button on our relations with our ally Israel.

In addition to addressing Israeli-Palestinian relationships, Governor Palin emphasized the importance in standing with Israel against the threat of Iran. In another post last March, Governor Palin called for the Obama administration to impose tougher sanctions on Iran and to exhibit more friendly interactions with Israel:
Public demands for concessions have been made of the Israelis while the Palestinians add ever more conditions to their participation in peace talks, and those in the administration that dare to argue for looking at these policies through the lens of Israel’s security needs are subject to slanderous attacks from “senior administration officials.” The Obama administration has their priorities exactly backwards; we should be working with our friend and democratic ally to stop Iran’s nuclear program, not throwing in the towel on sanctions while treating Israel like an enemy.
She would reiterate this criticism of Iran's potential to develop nuclear weaponry and the subsequent effect on Israel in an op-ed in USA Today this past December.

Beyond strong stances against Palestine and Iran specifically, Governor Palin has stood with Israel on many other occasions, including strong pro-Israel statements during a foreign policy focused speech last summer where she called Israel "our most important ally in the Middle East". She called for President Obama to stand with Israel last summer when more than 10 Israeli soldiers were injured trying to stop Turkish supported Flotillas aimed at provoking Israel. When discussing an endorsement of now Senator Rand Paul, Governor Palin asked about his view of Israel--indicating that a pro-Israel stance is a valuable issue in an endorsee. In a letter to recently elected House members, Governor Palin encouraged new House members to strongly support Israel stating,"[y]ou can stand with allies like Israel, not criticize them. You can let the President know what you believe – Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement". Such a statement shows her consistency in her firm support for Israel, as she stated in an interview with Barbara Walters in 2009 and her stance during the VP debate 2008 campaign. On multiple occasions, both during her time as Governor and following, Governor Palin has shared holiday wishes to the Jewish community. It's no wonder more Jewish Americans are supporting Governor Palin. While President Obama sees "bowtowing" to our enemies and ailenating our allies as an effective foreign policy strategy, Governor Palin has just the opposite approach--standing with Israel and against her enemies.

Other "Governor Palin on the Issues" posts have addressed monetary policy, entitlement reform, energy independence, and energy regulation.

Crossposted here, here, here, and here.

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