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Elliot Abrams, who served under presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week that “some programs are very much in our own interest and Israel‘s, such as the security programs” and that “defunding them right now would make life harder for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Whatever the case, Mr. Perry said that in order for talks to proceed Palestinian leaders must affirm Israel’s right to exist and to exist as a Jewish state, and persuade Hamas to renounce all acts of terrorism and to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Finally, they should seek statehood solely through direct negotiations with Israel, he said.

“By not insisting on these principles, the Obama administration has appeased the ‘Arab street’ at the expense of our own national security interests,” he said.