In a rather startling tangent, Democrat presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke slammed the prime minister of one of America’s most important allies in the Middle East as “racist” and a threat to peace in the region.
O’Rourke was speaking at a campaign rally in Iowa on Sunday when he offered his thoughts on the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet,” he said — immediately damaging that relationship with his next comments.
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“That relationship, if it is successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist,” O’Rourke added.
Beto O’Rourke on Sunday described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “racist” whose outreach to far-right interests as he seeks to hang onto political power has seriously damaged the chances of peace in the Middle East. https://t.co/CUEqpYBjr6
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) April 8, 2019
The Democrat specifically noted Netanyahu’s recent pledge to annex the West Bank, referring to it as a detriment to peace in the region.
Netanyahu made a historic promise to grant sovereignty over Israeli communities in the West Bank if he’s elected Israel’s next prime minister.
“I will give sovereignty, but I don’t differentiate between the settlement blocs and the isolated settlements, because from my perspective, any point of settlement is Israeli, and we have responsibility, as the Israeli government,” he vowed.
“I will not uproot anyone, and I will not transfer sovereignty to the Palestinians … If we learned anything, it is that when we abandon territories, Islamic extremism emerges immediately and slaughters us, and I won’t give them the heart of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“I am going to extend [Israeli] sovereignty and I don’t distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlements.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu pledged in a TV interview to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected pic.twitter.com/jh7sOE1NQn
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) April 7, 2019
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Palestinian leaders responded to the move by saying Netanyahu was destroying the peace process.
Beto sided with the Palestinian argument that Netanyahu was destroying peace in the region.
“[We] must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist, as he warns against Arabs coming to the polls, who wants to defy any prospect for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank, and who has sided with a far-Right racist party in order to maintain his hold on power,” O’Rourke told supporters.
The “coming to the polls” comment seems to refer to the 2015 election, in which Netanyahu warned that left-wing organizations had mobilized to defeat him.
Beto is falling aparthttps://t.co/guuzwvr5D8
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 8, 2019
“Right-wing rule is in danger,” he said in a Facebook video. “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”
What Beto fails to mention is that the comments were accurate and that former President Barack Obama attempted to interfere in the Israeli election.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) at the time suggested Obama might want to brush up on his foreign policy. He clearly “needs a refresher course on who our friends are and who our enemies are,” Zeldin said of the president.
It would seem Beto might want to consider taking the same course.
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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