- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2011

Virginia Senate candidate George Allen said President Obama’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has undermined the security of America’s top ally in the Middle East.

“When the president stated, that, in effect, Israel ought to go back to their 1949 borders or pre-‘67 borders, that was obviously an insult and a terrible negotiating approach,” the Virginia Republican said Thursday during an interview on The Washington Times-affiliated America’s Morning News radio program. “To return to those borders would clearly harm the security of the people living in Israel.

Polls say Mr. Allen will face a tight race against Democrat Tim Kaine, another former governor, in the contest next year to succeed Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, who has announced he will not seek a second term next year.

Mr. Allen sharply criticized the Obama administration’s Middle East diplomacy.

“Most Americans recognize that Israel is a wellspring in the wilderness in the Middle East and we need to stand by our friends and allies. The decision as to the two-state solution really needs to be determined by the Israelis and the Palestinians. That’s who ought to be negotiating it.”

The 59-year-old former governor and senator said the Obama administration’s missteps have contributed to the current diplomatic crisis at the United Nations, where Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said he will press ahead at the international body for formal recognition of a Palestinian state, despite the objections of the U.S.

“Notwithstanding the, I think, wrong decisions and harmful statements that have been made by President Obama, and Tim Kaine seemed to acquiesce to them, but regardless of that, right now before the United Nations, the United States needs to do everything it can to keep the Palestinians from using this end-run,” Mr. Allen said.

Mr. Allen said the Obama administration’s handling of the relationship with Israel was being watched closely by both Jewish voters and evangelical Christians.

“And in fact all Israel would like is for the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The Palestinians right now are just trying to completely ignore that negotiating approach,” he said.

“In the event the United Nations does somehow recognize this Palestinian state, then I think it’s going to be very hard for the American people to say we want to support that organization which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and in fact elements of it are recognized as terrorists.”



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