We’ve all heard by now about the May 17 fundraising dinner at Marc Leder’s home. We’ve seen the video of him trashing 47% of Americans, showing a clear us-vs.-them attitude toward America. Now we have evidence that he’s irresponsible when it comes to sensitive issues abroad, as well, as shown in another video of the same night, where he says that “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”
Here’s the video, as seen on Mother Jones:
Here’s a transcript:
I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.
Now why do I say that? Some might say, well, let’s let the Palestinians have the West Bank, and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then come a couple of thorny questions.
And I don’t have a map here to look at the geography, but the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel.
It’s–what the border would be? Maybe seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank…
The other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan.
And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza.
Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So Israel of course would have to say, “That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.”
Well, that means that—who? The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t, you know, guard our border with other Arab nations.”
And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we gonna allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis.
Well, the Palestinians are gonna say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.” These are problems—these are very hard to solve, all right?
And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, “There’s just no way.” And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.”
ou hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.
On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won’t mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, I think there’s a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections.
I said, “Really?” And, you know, his answer was, “Yes, I think there’s some prospect.” And I didn’t delve into it.
His attitude regarding this problem is amazingly ignorant and shockingly offensive with regard to human rights. Palestinians are less than human in Israel; they have limited rights, and are frequently abused or killed. Many are political prisoners.
Not only that, but he’s shown to be a liar, as Mother Jones also reports:
After saying all that, Romney emphasized that he was against applying any pressure on Israel: “The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world.”
On his campaign website, Romney, whose foreign policy advisers include several neocons known for their hawkish support for Israel, does not explicitly endorse the peace process or a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the Republican Party platform does state unequivocal backing for this outcome: “We envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security.” The platform adds, “The US seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the US.”
In public, Romney has not declared the peace process pointless or dismissed the two-state solution. In July, when the Israeli newspaper Haaretz asked Romney if he supports a two-state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state, he replied, “I believe in a two-state solution which suggests there will be two states, including a Jewish state.” Yet Romney’s remarks to these funders—this was one of his longest answers at the fundraiser—suggest he might be hiding his true beliefs regarding Israel and the peace process and that on this subject he is out of sync with the predominant view in foreign policy circles that has existed for decades.
His statement that it’s something we live with and can’t do anything about, sort of like China and Taiwan, is also incorrect. China is an economic competitor and is no friend of ours at this point. Israel is–and has been for quite some time–a close ally, and we have more political power there than in nearly any country in the world. Palestinian rights are human rights. How can we guarantee religious equality in our own country when we refuse to stand up for our so-called values elsewhere?