Since the 1967 war between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Israelis have slowly populated the West Bank and maintained an expanding network of settlements that today, threaten the viability of a two-state solution.
U.S. policy stretching back to the Johnson administration considers these settlements to be illegal, and has called for their construction to be halted. Yet at an event in New York City this morning Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) — in a speech attacking President Obama’s Middle East policies — disregarded four decades of U.S. policy and told a reporter that Israel should continue to build settlements because it’s “their land” and “their right”:
REPORTER: Should [Israel] continue building settlements?
PERRY: I think so, it’s their land; it’s their right.
Perry’s position stands far outside maintstream in the United States, where Democratic and Republican administrations have called for the settlement expansion to be halted, in accordance to international law.
(Video to come.)
Salon’s Justin Elliott has more, including a fuller transcript of Perry’s remarks.