New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) spoke on Tuesday in a pro-Israel rally in New York City, ahead of the vote in the United Nations on the Palestinian state.
It was the same rally in which Texas governor Rick Perry also spoke, blaming President Barack Obama and his Middle East policies for the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral statehood bid.
“The message in the 9th district is a very clear one and it should be crystal clear to the White House: We don’t like your policy on Israel,” Hikind said and received a big round of applause.
“Israel is faced with Kassam rockets, mortars, Grad missiles from the north, from the south,” added Hikind. “I’ve had the experience of running from a Kassam rocket one Shabbat morning in Sderot.”
“The population of Israel is faced with daily threats,” he added, noting the threats from Iran and from Egypt, where the situation has changed since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
“This administration doesn’t get it,” exclaimed Hikind. “We sent our Ambassador back to Syria during this administration. That is nuts! Why is that Ambassador still in Syria as Assad continues to murder his civilians? It is outrageous.”
He reminded the audience that the Israeli people want peace, bringing as proof the willingness of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak to give Yasser Arafat a Palestinian state that would expand to 90-91% of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza.
“There was one person who walked out of that (the 2000 Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David mediated by President Bill Clinton),” Hikind reminded. “His name was Yasser Arafat - the guy who was invited to the White House so often.”
Hikind also recalled how former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also made a generous offer to current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and was ready to internationalize Jerusalem. Abbas walked out just like his predecessor.
“There are many many issues, and I’m concerned about all the issues, but you can’t be right on everything and wrong on Israel,” he said. “We will not support you if you’re wrong on Israel.”
Hikind, who is a Democrat, said he is not endorsing anyone, but praised Governor Perry for his pro-Israel remarks at the rally as well as for his pro-Israel article in The Wall Street Journal.
“[Perry] sounds like a man who really understands the situation the people of Israel are confronted with,” Hikind said. “The people of Israel are prepared to make concessions. Every poll indicates that. But they don’t want to commit suicide.”
He ended by wishing Perry success in his presidential bid.