GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry blames President Barack Obama for demanding concessions from Israel, “encouraging” Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to avoid direct talks with Israel.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, the Texas governor charged that President Obama’s Middle East policies – distancing himself from Israel while trying to engage Syria and Iran – have resulted in the Palestinian Authority leaders “signaling that they have no interest in a two-state solution.”
“It was a mistake to call for an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks,” according to Gov. Perry. “When the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, it led to a freeze in Palestinian negotiations…. The Palestinian leadership's insistence on the so-called "right of return" of descendants of Palestinian refugees to Israel's sovereign territory, thereby making Jews an ethnic minority in their own state, is a disturbing sign that the ultimate Palestinian ‘solution’ remains the destruction of the Jewish state."
He said that the Palestinian Authority plan to ask the United Nations for unilateral recognition “threatens Israel and insults the United States.”
Noting that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) dealt directly with Israel since 1993 but has refused to continue to do in the past two years, he accused Palestinian Authority leaders of preferring “theatrics in New York to the hard work of negotiation and compromise that peace will require.”
He also called on the United States aid to the Palestinian Authority to be “predicated on the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to engage honestly and directly with the Israelis in negotiating a peace settlement. Their threatened unilateral action in the U.N. signals a failure to abide by this commitment.”