The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, finds Rick Perry “stuck in a time warp” on Israel-Palestine issues, and gives him two Pinocchios for his statement to TIME magazine that “[t]he first step in any peaceful negotiation for a two-state solution for the Palestinians is to recognize the right of Israel’s existence. They have to denounce terrorism in both word and deed. And they have to sit down and negotiate with Israel directly. Anything short of that is a non-starter in my opinion.”
As Kessler points out, it’s Hamas that doesn’t recognize Israel, and “[a]s part of the 1993 Oslo accords, in an exchange of letters between then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Palestine Liberation Organization met all of these conditions nearly 20 years ago.”
Three experts on Middle East diplomacy told Kessler Perry appeared to be “remarkably uninformed.”
Tomorrow, though, Perry will be holding a “pro-Israel” press conference with none other than Republicans’ favorite Israeli politician, Likud MK and Knesset Deputy Speaker Danny Danon. The press conference is obviously timed to oppose the bid by Palestinian leaders for U.N. recognition, a notion so difficult for the “pro-Israel” camp to accept that the Obama administration opposes it, a refusal Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg calls “a mistake several times over.”
Danon, though, is the hardest of the hardline that has taken up McCarthy-esque tactics to beat back political opposition in Israel and even in the U.S. Back in March, Danon staged a show trial intended to depict the American Jewish group J Street, which is for a two-state solution, as “pro-Palestinian,” and demanded that J Street “apologize” to Israel. The stunt that drew fire from other American Jewish groups, even ones not particularly sympathetic to J Street.
Danon was Sarah Palin’s tour guide when she visited Israel earlier this year. Palin, a Christian Zionist, has called the settlements a “zoning” issue.
For Perry to make political appearances with Danon is sadly not unusual for a Republican who has allied himself, as Perry has, with Christian Zionists like fellow Texan John Hagee. Danon, who has likened President Obama to Pharaoh, appeared via videotape at the inaugural Freedom Federation conference last year at Liberty University, saying, “we know you love us and want to commend you for unconditional support for state of Israel,” adding that “Christians and Jews share the same future.” That’s code not only for no state for the Palestinians, but a perpetuation of illegal settlements and purging of Palestinians from occupied land. For Danon, Hagee, and friends, that shared future is one in which Muslims are vanquished. It’s not a time warp, it’s the twisted reality of the Likudniks and their American Christian Zionist friends.