Rick Perry came to New York today to give a foreign policy speech. He focused on Israel and the Middle East. His criticism of Obama was taken by some as over-the-top.
“Simply put, we would not be here today at the very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn’t naive, arrogant, misguided, and dangerous,” said Perry, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.
He continued: “The Obama policy of moral equivalency, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult.”
Perry accused the Obama administration of encouraging the Palestinians to abandon direct talks with Israel, in a “policy of appeasement.”
Let’s breakdown Perry’s statement and see if he was being accurate or exaggerating.
- Has Obama’s Policy Been Naive? YES! What the President and his advisers perceived as a minor concession, a settlement freeze, was not perceived by Israel as a minor one. This was a major error by Obama. And when he added Jerusalem to his demands it just compounded the situation. His insistence for a freeze and the constant public berating of the Jewish State has turned the Israeli population against Obama, and increased the support of Prime Minister Netanyahu even with the Israeli left, no fans of Bibi, but who the President would look to for support.
At the same time the President’s demands have given the Palestinians an excuse to avoid negotiations and the other Arab nations an excuse to avoid making the “gestures” for which the President is looking.
The President’s “rookie” mistake has not only hurt his own strategy, but damaged our relations with the only real democracy in the Middle East.
- Has Obama’s Middle East Policy Been Arrogant? Yes! Let me count the ways, when he left the Prime Minister stewing in a conference room for a few hours while he went up to the White House residence to have dinner with his wife and children (who were in NY at the time) that was arrogance.
He displayed even more arrogance last year at the UN when he said he would like to see a Palestinian State at the UN in 12 months; he said it was really possible (because he could succeed in 12 months what others couldn’t do in 40 years). That last little display of arrogance certainly helped the Palestinians work up the nerve to attempt what he promised on their own.
- Has Obama’s Middle East Policy Been Misguided? If by Misguided Rick Perry meant wrong, well the answer is yes. Lets look at it this way, at the end of the Bush administration the two sides were talking. Now almost three years later, the Palestinians have used Obama’s words about settlements as an excuse to avoid negotiations. Yes Obama’s Middle East policies have been misguided.
- Has Obama’s Middle East Policy been dangerous? Yes! Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, President Obama’s policy has been all over the place. Sometimes bashing our friends while supporting our enemies. In Libya it seems as if he helped establish a new regime that is loaded with people from al Qaeda. Obama’s waste of time, reaching his hand out to Iran, while the Islamic state continued with its nuclear bomb program was certainly another example of Obama’s policies being dangerous, in this case to both Israel and the United States.
- Has Obama’s Policies drawn a moral equivalence between terrorism and Israel’s defense against terror? Yes! Remember the Guerrilla Flotilla? That ship load of terrorists from Greece that attack Israeli soldiers boarding the boat to get it to turn around? Just a few days after the incident tonight Barack Obama advanced his sellout of Israel by sending Hillary Clinton in front of the cameras to condemn Israel. As if Israel was wrong for trying to defend herself.
- Has the Obama administration waged a policy of appeasement, encouraging the Palestinians to abandon direct talks with Israel? Yes! When Obama’s settlement talk caused the Palestinians to follow the president’s lead and abandon talks until Israel stopped adding units to existing communities, Obama did not press them on it. Heck even when Netanyahu offered to continue the building freeze if the PA would recognize Israel as the Jewish State, Obama was silent.
When Obama made his big Middle East speech in May he made demands if Israel, to begin negotiations with an agreement to return to 1947 Armistice Lines, but didn’t make any demands on the Palestinians, like demanding they recognize Israel as a Jewish State. That is appeasement!
So where does that leave us? Everything that Rick Perry said today is true and can be justified by Obama’s actions. Which means that anybody who says that Rick Perry was over the top today is 100% wrong.