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GOP Contender Herman Cain Demonstrates Clueslessness On Middle East Policy, Confused By ‘Right Of Return’

By Faiz Shakir on May 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

"GOP Contender Herman Cain Demonstrates Clueslessness On Middle East Policy, Confused By ‘Right Of Return’"

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Former pizza executive Herman Cain announced on Saturday in Atlanta that he is “running for the president of the United States, and I’m not running for second.” Previously, Cain has shown a lack of depth on foreign policy, stating at one point that he doesn’t know enough to say what he thinks about the Afghanistan war.

Despite his shallow understanding of foreign policy issues, Cain is still trying to go on the attack against Obama and create a partisan divide on Israel. He said last week that an “arrogant” Obama “threw Israel under the bus” in his recent speech on the Middle East. Trying to sound a hawkish note, Cain said his “Cain doctrine” is “You mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America.”

But this morning on Fox News Sunday, Cain showed just how limited his understanding is of the Middle East peace process. Asked by host Chris Wallace what he would be prepared to offer Palestinians as part of a deal, Cain responded, “Nothing.” Just moments later, Cain was dazed and confused when Wallace referenced the issue of “right of return” of Palestinian refugees:

WALLACE: Where do you stand on the right of return?

CAIN: The right of return? [pause] The right of return?

WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.

CAIN: That’s something that should be negotiated. That’s something that should be negotiated.

Wallace then helpfully offered Cain a definition of “right of return” — “Palestinian refugees, the people that were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able to or should have any right to return to Israeli land.” Cain again showed his lack of knowledge, veering completely off his pro-Likud script. “I don’t think they have a big problem with people returning,” Cain said. Watch it:

Cain desperately needs a foreign policy briefing so that he can get his talking points in order. During his lecture of President Obama in the Oval Office on Friday, here’s what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on the issue of right of return:

NETANYAHU: The third reality is that the Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved in the context of a Palestinian state, but certainly not in the borders of Israel. … So it’s not going to happen.  Everybody knows it’s not going to happen.  And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen.

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