- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Israeli lawmaker says Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry likely will visit Israel in October or November.

Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon, who appeared Tuesday with Mr. Perry at a pro-Israel rally in New York, told The Washington Times that he had invited the Texas governor to visit the Jewish state.

Mr. Perry “told me that he would be very happy to come, and we will try to work out a date that will be available for him to come — probably it will be in October or November — and I’m looking forward to hosting him in Israel,” Mr. Danon said.

A Perry spokesman told The Times that there was ‘nothing planned’ yet.

Mr. Perry last visited Israel in 2009, when he received the Defender of Jerusalem Award, which is given to public figures who have shown support for Israel and its capital, Jerusalem.

In a speech Tuesday, Mr. Perry took aim at what he called President Obama’s “naive, arrogant, misguided and dangerous” Middle East policies.

With the Palestinians planning to submit an application for U.N. membership over U.S. wishes on Friday, Mr. Perry said the U.S. should respond by cutting off funding to the U.N. and the Palestinian Authority, and by closing the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Mr. Danon, a leading hard-liner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said that while he was dismayed by Mr. Perry’s support for a two-state solution, he thought Mr. Perry delivered an “excellent speech.”

“If you look at the overall picture, we share the same values and principles,” he said.

Mr. Danon is no stranger to Republican politicians, having given tours of Jerusalem’s Old City to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and [-] a couple of weeks ago [-] businessman Herman Cain.

He also hosted talk-show host Glenn Beck at the Knesset last month and said Mr. Perry would be welcome there.

“If he would like to do it, I’d be very happy to have him address the Knesset or one of the major committees of the Knesset,” Mr. Danon said. “I think it’s important for us to have friends like Governor Perry coming to Israel and speaking the way he speaks.”