Republican presidential hopeful and Catholic convert Newt Gingrich has labeled President Obama’s Israeli-Palestinian policy a “disaster” during Sunday’s CBS program “Face the Nation.”
Outspoken Gingrich said Obama’s remarks were “extraordinarily dangerous,” and further stated that “a president who can’t control his own border probably shouldn't lecture Israel about their border.”
Gingrich was referring to Obama’s comments this week that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations be based on border demarcations from before the six-day war in 1967, in which Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip among other territories. Furthermore, he stated that potential agreements should include land swap deals to reflect changes over recent decades.
Gingrich said on “Face the Nation:” “I think that defining the 1967 border would be an act of suicide for Israel. They are totally non-defensible.
“You have Hamas, which is a terrorist organization whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel. The idea that somehow we’re supposed to be neutral between Hamas and Israel is fundamentally flawed and I do not believe that we should have any pressure on Israel as long as Hamas’ policy is the destruction of Israel and as long as missiles are being fired into Israel and terrorists are preparing to try to kill Israelis.”
Gingrich is not the only one condemning Obama’s stance towards Israel; Congressman Ron Paul has also issued a blistering critique of Obama's recent proposals.
“Unlike this President, I do not believe it is our place to dictate how Israel runs her affairs,” the Texas Republican said in a press statement.
“There can only be peace in the region if those sides work out their differences among one another. We should respect Israel’s sovereignty and not try to dictate her policy from Washington,” he added.
Rep. Paul has announced his run for president in 2012, and will be fighting it out with Gingrich to win the GOP nomination.
Earlier this week, the Israeli Prime Minister spent several hours in tense talks with President Obama in the White House. In fighting back against Obama’s call for a peace deal based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders, Benjamin Netanyahu sought urgent “clarifications” of central passages in Obama’s speech on Israel.
Netanyahu emphasized that peace was “something that we want. Israel wants peace. I want peace, and I think that we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash against the rocks of Middle Eastern reality. The only peace that will endure is one based on unshakeable facts.”
The Israeli Prime Minister added that Israel could make “generous” concessions but he was also quick to explicitly rule out a return to the pre-1967 borders pointing to demographic changes since then.
“These were not the boundaries of peace,” he said. “They were the boundaries of repeated wars.”