In a The Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry urged the Obama administration to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations by vetoing the bid in the Security Council, as President Obama has pledged to do.
Perry wrote that errors by the Obama administration – such as calling for the Israeli construction freeze and agreeing to a Palestinian demand for negotiations conducted through the U.S. – have hindered the Israel-Palestine peace process. The Texas governor also points to Obama’s decision to seek engagement with the hostile regimes in Syria and Iran as “an even greater mistake” that distanced the administration from Israel. He wrote that as a result of these errors, Palestinian leaders are trying to exploit this perceived “weakening” of U.S.-Israeli relations.
“The U.S. – and the U.N. – should do everything possible to discourage the Palestinian leadership from pursuing its current course,” Perry wrote. “We must not condone and legitimize through our assistance a regime whose actions are in direct opposition to a peace agreement and to our vital interests.”
Perry’s strong backing Israel stands in stark contrast to a perception that Obama’s policies have been bad news for the U.S. ally -- highlighted this week with a Republican upset victory in the special election for New York’s heavily Jewish 9th Congressional District.