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Old 09-18-2012, 06:48 AM  
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Raise your hand if you're surprised: Romney trashes the two-state solution in Israel.

And the melding of the Likud and the GOP is now complete.

We have ourselves now a transnational political party. Any light that existed between these two organizations is now gone.

The GOP, at least its foreign policy wing, is officially led by Benjamin Netanyahu. If it hadn't been already for years, which I suspect it has.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...dle-east-peace

SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution
At a private fundraiser, the GOP candidate calls Middle East peace "almost unthinkable" and says he would "kick the ball down the field."
—By David Corn
Tue Sep. 18, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

At the private fundraiser held May 17 where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney candidly spoke about political strategy—noting that he saw half of the American electorate as freeloaders and "victims" who do not believe in personal responsibility—he discussed various foreign policy positions, sharing views that he does not express in public, including his belief that peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible.

Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate dinner and has confirmed its authenticity. The event was held at the home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder in Boca Raton, Florida, with tickets costing $50,000 a plate. During the freewheeling conversation, a donor asked Romney how the "Palestinian problem" can be solved. Romney immediately launched into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."

Romney spoke of "the Palestinians" as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: "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."

Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: "[S]o 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…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."

Romney did note there was another perspective on this knotty matter. He informed his donors that a former secretary of state—he would not say who—had told him there was "a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis." Romney recalled that he had replied, "Really?" Then he added that he had not asked this ex-secretary of state for further explanation.

Here's Romney's full response; he starts out saying he has "two perspectives," but as he answers the question, it turns out that's not really the case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=ukhFBJgrZxM

Quote:
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.
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.

Throughout the hourlong fundraiser, Romney discussed other foreign policy matters with his patrons, especially Iran. He repeated the tough talk he has issued on the campaign trail, but he also provided an odd reason for drawing a red line with Tehran about its nuclear program:

Quote:
If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we're going to let off a dirty bomb." I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
Romney didn't appear to understand that a dirty bomb—an explosive device that spreads radioactive substances—does not require fissile material from a nuclear weapons program. Such a bomb can be produced with, say, radioactive medical waste. If Iran's nuclear program poses a threat, it is not because this project will yield a dirty bomb.

Talking to these funders, Romney also demonstrated that his campaign-long efforts to criticize Obama's handling of foreign policy in simplistic and exaggerated terms—he's an appeaser, he's an apologist—are not reserved for public consumption. Romney told these well-to-do backers that the president is a naïf with an oversized ego:

Quote:
The president's foreign policy, in my opinion, is formed in part by a perception he has that his magnetism, and his charm, and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like Putin and Chávez and Ahmadinejad, and that they'll find that we're such wonderful people that they'll go on with us, and they'll stop doing bad things. And it's an extraordinarily naive perception.
Romney did share a disappointment with his patrons, noting it was "frustrating" to him that on a "typical day" when he does several fundraising events, "the number of foreign policy questions I get are between zero and one." He complained that "the American people are not concentrated at all on China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq." But at this fundraiser, Romney received several queries related to national security—and was afforded the opportunity to tell his financial backers what he does not (and will not) tell the public.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:37 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Just to be clear, what do you think is opinion versus fact in Romney's statements?
Fact:
  • 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.
  • 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.
Opinion:
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:38 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Meh. Remove the extraneous "is" and it makes perfect sense.
M'alright.

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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Would you care to explain why Israel should compromise at all unless and until the "Palestinians" recognize Israel's right to exist?
Because the right compromises could realistically reduce violence, reduce Palestinian desperation, and eventually dislodge Hamas' popular support?
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by mnchiefsguy View Post
It is the official position of Hamas is it not? How is that painting with too broad a brush?
Because the leaders of a nation are not always the same as that nation.

You miss the fact that Hamas is the most cynical organization on earth, exercising their support from Palestinian hardship into extreme pronouncements that drive Israel further into their right wing, which in turn continues to entrench Hamas.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Fact:
  • 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.
  • 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.
Opinion:
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
I agree on some, not on others. It's a fact that the Palestinians aren't presently willing to agree to the one item that will get Israel to negotiate and compromise. You agree with that, right?
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:42 PM
go bowe
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #80
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Do you realize how absurd you sound saying things like this? I don't know if you think we've got a large anti-semite audience here for your performance, but maybe we do. Are you getting much jew-hate rep?
Heh.

It certainly says something that the idea that anybody who dares criticize the Likud/GOP alliance is automatically a racist hatemonger.

And it doesn't say anything good.

There literally is no place in the Likud/GOP for criticizing the actions of Israel, lest one be branded an anti-semite.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #81
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Because the right compromises could realistically reduce violence, reduce Palestinian desperation, and eventually dislodge Hamas' popular support?
Absolutely they could, but the Palestinians won't.

So why should Israel even try to negotiate with the Palestinians who refuse to even acknowledge Israel's right to exist? You think that's a good way to begin compromise?
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Because the leaders of a nation are not always the same as that nation.

You miss the fact that Hamas is the most cynical organization on earth, exercising their support from Palestinian hardship into extreme pronouncements that drive Israel further into their right wing, which in turn continues to entrench Hamas.
None of this excuses the fact they wish genocide upon the nation of Israel.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:45 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Do you realize how absurd you sound saying things like this? I don't know if you think we've got a large anti-semite audience here for your performance, but maybe we do. Are you getting much jew-hate rep?
criticizing israel's government makes you an anti-semite?

that's an interesting take...
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #84
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I agree on some, not on others. It's a fact that the Palestinians aren't presently willing to agree to the one item that will get Israel to negotiate and compromise. You agree with that, right?
Sadly, I'm not sure how much standard negotiation techniques are going to work right now. You're not going to get Hamas and Netanyahu to parse nuance at a common table, even if you got them both sat down.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:48 PM   #85
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Absolutely they could, but the Palestinians won't.

So why should Israel even try to negotiate with the Palestinians who refuse to even acknowledge Israel's right to exist? You think that's a good way to begin compromise?
If I were to bath myself in Hamas' cynicism, I'd say that particular chip is like the one piece of leverage Hamas thinks they have.

That and violence.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:49 PM   #86
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Romney is completely correct. And he hasn't taken anything away from a two state solution. He simply says as any thinking person would that he didn't believe it will happen in our lifetimes from the looks of things because the Palestinians are not interested in dividing land up and living in peace and harmony with a Jewish state. There is nothing new about this at all. Abbas hasn't been to any negotiation in over two years. It's been this way since 1948.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:49 PM   #87
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None of this excuses the fact they wish genocide upon the nation of Israel.
Hamas wishes for the consolidation of their own power. Period.

Netanyahu has done his part to ensure it stays that way.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:54 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Sadly, I'm not sure how much standard negotiation techniques are going to work right now. You're not going to get Hamas and Netanyahu to parse nuance at a common table, even if you got them both sat down.
Yes, it is a shame that the "Palestinians" elected Hamas into real power.

Wait, you aren't trying to equate Netanyahu and Hamas, are you?
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #89
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Yes, it is a shame that the "Palestinians" elected Hamas into real power.

Wait, you aren't trying to equate Netanyahu and Hamas, are you?
Depends what you mean by equate.

I've made my opinions about Hamas and Netanyahu very clear in countless discussions. As an active participant in most of those discussions, you should know exactly what I think of both parties.

I will say they are similarly uninterested in the two-state solution.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:00 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Depends what you mean by equate.

I've made my opinions about Hamas and Netanyahu very clear in countless discussions. As an active participant in most of those discussions, you should know exactly what I think of both parties.

I will say they are similarly uninterested in the two-state solution.
I believe you are on record as agreeing that Hamas is a terrorist organization, no? If so, do you think that a Netanyahu-PMed Israel is a similar terrorist state/organization?

From the perspective of an American, if you can still separate that from your support for Palestine.
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