Rick Santorum: Israel Knows US Is Not a Friend

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 10:47 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Israel knows that the Obama administration is not its friend, evidenced by pressure the White House is putting on it to accept a peace deal with the Palestinians that is not in Israel’s best interest, former U.S. presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

"No one wants to criticize the president. No one wants to criticize the secretary of state. But the average Israeli knows whose side that John Kerry and Barack Obama are on, and it's not to protect the security of Israel," Santorum said during a phone interview from Jerusalem.

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"The idea that Israel should not have defensible borders, the idea that Israel should not be able to respond when 3,500 rockets come flying out of torturous, southern cities, and that you can't respond when you have people that have built tunnels to bring in terrorist and other types of activities that are going to harm your people — that you can't stop that and putting pressure on them to get in negotiated settlements that is not necessarily favorable to the security of Israel. Friends don't do that."

Santorum noted the ruthlessness of Hamas, which he said on a daily basis tries to destroy a power plant supplying electricity to Gaza. And "almost every day, even during the war, Israel sends shipments into Gaza of food, medicine, and supplies, and Hamas shoots missiles at them, too."

This kind of "deranged leadership" for the citizens of the Gaza strip needs to end, and "it's incumbent upon the Palestinians in Gaza to throw off these radical Muslims who don't care about the people that are in Gaza," Santorum said.

President Barack Obama and his administration now garner so little respect across the world that the peace negotiation being brokered between Israel and the Palestinians does not even involve the United States, he said.

"You have Hamas and Israel at war and the secretary of state of the United States is a cheerleader on the sideline," he said. "That tells you how far the United States has fallen, both in the eyes of the Israel and in the international community."

Santorum told "America’s Forum" hosts J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman that he is considering seeking the presidency again in 2016 but that he came to Israel to "express solidarity, to speak up, to try to inform the public back in the United States what's actually going on here and the fact that the president has lost a lot of influence in this region."

There are myriad crises going on in the region and world that require a spotlight, he said, including Syria, ISIS and Iraq, in addition to what he characterized as the most concerning issue to Israel: a nuclear Iran.

"It's not Hamas, it's Iran and Iran's nuclear program and the fact that this administration is dallying while Iran continues to develop uranium, missiles, and technology to weaponize that uranium," Santorum said.

"The United States had abdicated the field," he continued. "We need a new foreign policy in America, one that asserts America in the world, not to say we need to be militarily everywhere, but we need to engage the world for a positive as opposed to withdraw and let the forces of evil prevail."

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