Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Santorum: ‘All The People Who Live In The West Bank Are Israelis’

By Eli Clifton

"Santorum: ‘All The People Who Live In The West Bank Are Israelis’"

Share:

google plus icon

In a recorded conversation during a Friday campaign stop in Iowa, former Republican senator Rick Santorum offered a surprisingly hawkish set of foreign policy views (even for Santorum) on both Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After telling a questioner that the U.S. should target Iranian nuclear scientists for assassination, the GOP presidential hopeful went on to say that “all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians” and offered his endorsement of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

Santorum even went so far as to compare Israeli annexation of the West Bank to the acquisition of Texas during the Mexican-American war:

QUESTIONER: Do you think Israel should dismantle its settlements?

SANTORUM: No. The West Bank, is this part of Israel?

QUESTIONER: [inaudible] According to 48? [inaudible]
[...]

SANTORUM: How did we get New Mexico and Texas?

QUESTIONER: Through war.

SANTORUM: How did they get the West Bank? [inaudible] Through a war. Should we give Texas back to Mexico?

QUESTIONER: Well I don’t think you should recognize recent annexations.

SANTORUM: Oh, so it depends whether it’s recent or not? So we should have given New Mexico and Texas back 150 years go?
[...]

The bottom line is that that is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country. If they want to negotiate with Israelis, and all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. This is Israeli land.

Watch it:

Santorum’s position that “all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis,” an apparent denial of the U.S. interest in creating a two-state solution along 1967 borders, poses a serious departure from the stated U.S. policy of the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

If Santorum is endorsing a one-state solution, and there is no other way to interpret his comments, he should elaborate on whether the current Arab residents of the West Bank — a people he refuses to call Palestinians — should receive the full voting rights and freedom of movement afforded to Israeli citizens.

‹ Despite Glenn Beck’s Slanders Of Israelis, Netanyahu Says He Is ‘Fearless In Defending Israel Against Slanders’

Perry Calls For No-Fly Zone In Syria, Would Act Unilaterally Without U.N. Authorization ›

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.