After delivering a speech at the India Today Conclave, former Gov. Sarah Palin will visit Israel for two days. Israel is often a stop for American politicians with national ambitions, no more than Palin, a warm supporter of the Jewish state.
“But, in between visits to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and the town of Nazareth, she is due to hold talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister and an ideological soul mate.
“Mrs Palin is expected to use her two trips to articulate her attitudes to foreign policy, as she hits back at criticism over her lack of foreign experience.
“While in Jerusalem, she will also court controversy by meeting Danny Danon, one of the most ardent supporters in the Knesset of Jewish settlements.”
While the current President is decidedly hostile to Israel, Palin’s support for the Jewish state goes so deep that she wears an Israeli flag lapel pin next to her American flag lapel pin. She has often been critical of President Obama’s constant pressuring of Israel over settlements, Jerusalem, and the Palestinians.
There is a truism in some American foreign policy circles that the Middle East would be a much calmer place if there were no Israel or at least if Israel were more compliant to American demands. 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror, brought about by Muslim extremist hostility toward the West in general, would tend to contradict that view. The current uprisings across the Middle East, including the civil war in Libya, have nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of Israel.
Clearly, like George W. Bush, a President Sarah Palin would be a far friendlier American leader insofar as Israel is concerned than Barack Obama. Indeed, her meeting with Danon would suggest that she would be an even warmer supporter than Bush.
It has been the position of almost every American government since the Six Day War that Israeli settlements on the West Bank, which Israelis call Judea and Samaria, are obstacles to peace. Israelis point out that the abandonment of settlements in the Gaza Strip has not ameliorated Palestinian hostility toward Israel and perhaps has even emboldened it. Palin may be signaling that she is more sympathetic toward that point of view than men who have occupied the Oval Office thus far.
The potential for Palin making trouble in the Middle East for Barack Obama is great as well. Imagine if she were to criticize Obama’s somewhat lethargic approach to the civil war in Libya, for example. With Hillary Clinton apparently looking for the exits out of exasperation, that would make the criticism as bi-partisan as it is possible.
Source: Sarah Palin to Travel to India to Speak at the India Today Conclave, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, February 24th, 2011
Sarah Palin to visit Israel to boost foreign policy experience, Adrian Blomfield, UK Telegraph, March 17th, 2011
United States ‘Prepared to Contemplate Steps’ in Libya, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, March 17th, 2011