Rick Santorum, who won a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s Republican party caucus vote in Iowa, backs an Israeli strike on Iran and has negated the concept that there are “Palestinians.”
Romney “won” by only eight votes, but Santorum’s achievement surprised even his staunchest supporters and propelled him into being a serious contender.
His views on Israel put him squarely in the conservative camp.
In November, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finally figured out that Iran is much closer than it thought to developing a nuclear weapon, Santorum said in Florida, “If we are in a position where Iran is close to getting a nuclear weapon, then action needs to be taken.
“Imagine if Honduras has been making noise about trying to destroy the United States and that they were developing a nuclear weapon, and we had a report saying they were in a few months from developing a nuclear weapon…. I don’t think any Americans would let that happen. In fact, the president would be impeached for letting that happen.
“So what would we say to the State of Israel, that has been threatened to be wiped out?”
Santorum has consistently been hawkish on Iran and has stated that he “introduced the biggest restriction and sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program right years ago, [but] it was unanimously opposed even by President Bush, I got no co-sponsors.”
His views on the Palestinian Authority also put him in the Israeli nationalist camp. During a camping trip in Iowa in November, one voter asked him, "Do you think Israel should dismantle its settlements?"
"Should we give Texas back to Mexico?" Santorum shot back.
He said more or less what Newt Gingrich stated last month, "All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis. They're not Palestinian. There [are] no Palestinians. This is Israeli land.”
In an article he wrote for the National Review last May, Santorum echoed across-the-board Republican party criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policies.
“President Obama’s immoral Middle East policy goes beyond directly pressuring Israel,” Santorum wrote. “See how he has treated other allies and enemies in the region. President Obama told Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak he had to leave office but he has coddled Syria, rewarding that rogue state with a U.S. ambassadorship George W. Bush pulled years ago.”
President Obama eventually joined the rest of the Western world and called for Assad to step down.