Romney Unplugged: We Can Live with “Unsolved” Israeli-Palestinian Reality
WASHINGTON – It’s really difficult to comprehend what an amateur view of the world the Republican nominee has on the Middle East. Once again from David Corn of Mother Jones we get the mother load on Mitt, as he opines to the $50,000/plate audience on the Middle East and other foreign policy ruminations.
However, we now find out the research assistant credited in Corn’s piece and who uncovered the videos, which have been on the web for months, was former Pres. Carter’s grandson, James Carter IV. He was looking for a job and just kept at it, with New York magazine speaking with Carter after his involvement became public.
I’ve written for a long time about “equilibrium” in the Mideast, after innumerable talks where I heard experts on the Middle East explain the issues of Israelis and the Palestinians, with Steve Clemons the coiner of this reality. However, hearing Mitt Romney say that the issue will remain “unsolved” is so stupendously ignorant it’s dangerous. I can’t help but hear Jordan’s King Abdullah on that one, because he’s someone who’s been warning about the dire consequences of a solution not being found and implemented. Romney’s ideas on foreign policy are just so amateur as to be mind boggling.
Transcript of the video above, which directly refutes the Republican Party platform, as well as what Romney’s website states his views are on the Israeli – Palestinian issue.
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.” You 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.
For people who follow this region, care about the outcome of policy there, as well as know Israel’s fate is tied to the Palestinians’ independence, starting with economics, and no matter your politics, this is a real line in the sand.
Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.