Santorum: Obama Must Support Israel on Gaza

Thursday, 15 Nov 2012 09:21 PM

By Todd Beamon and Paul Scicchitano

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The United States should support Israel in any assault against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum charged on Thursday in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.

“We should support our ally in its ability to defend itself. Israel is defending itself against repeated attacks,” Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and chairman of Patriot Voices, told Newsmax at Restoration Weekend 2012 in Palm Beach, Fla. “There have over 850 rockets fired this year.

“Imagine if Mexico was lobbing rockets into El Paso and Tucson. We would be outraged. We would immediately tell them to either stop or we are going to go into there and clear out those areas that are beyond government control – and do it for them. That is exactly what is going on in Israel.”

Earlier on Thursday, Palestinians battered Israel with more than 200 rockets in the heaviest fighting in four years, killing three people as Israel pressed a punishing campaign of airstrikes on militant targets across the Gaza Strip.

Three rockets targeted Tel Aviv, setting off air-raid sirens in bold attacks that led Israel to signal that a ground operation was imminent. At least 12 trucks were seen transporting tanks and armored personnel carriers, and a number of buses carrying soldiers arrived.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he had authorized the army to call up as many as 30,000 additional reservists for possible action.

Fifteen Palestinians also have been killed in two days of shelling.

Israel and Hamas have largely observed an informal truce for the past four years. But in recent weeks, the calm unraveled in a bout of rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.

“The Palestinian Hamas, in Gaza, and in the West Bank, they are very, very clear that they do not believe in Israel’s right to exist,” Santorum told Newsmax on Thursday. “They have never recognized their right to exist. They are doing everything they can to create tensions, knowing that the vast majority of the world is going to support the Palestinian cause, as they do in the United Nations.

“This is a test of whether this president, because America has been alone in the world in supporting Israel – post-election – is willing to stand up for Israel,” he added. “I am hopeful that the President will pass that test, but certainly if you look at his record over the past four years, he has been the weakest friend to Israel than Israel has ever had in the White House.”

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In other comments in his exclusive Newsmax interview, Santorum said:

  • GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney “ran a good race, for him. As a candidate, you come in with certain plusses and certain minuses. Given who Mitt Romney is, he ran as good a campaign as he could.”

  •  President Barack Obama succeeded in making the election about “little things –contraception, DREAM Act – things that were targeted toward different voting groups instead of an overall narrative that would motivate all Americans to see this in very different light. In a race where President Obama was going to make it ‘us against them’ – divide America – this was a race about divide and conquer for President Obama.”

  • Tax revenues need to be a part of any deal struck in Congress to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. “Republicans have always been willing to put revenues on the table. What we don’t want to do is put tax policy on the table that’s going to hurt the economy and cause more economic devastation and less revenues. But the issue for the president is fairness. Tax policy should be about creating the best opportunity for economic growth and for revenue for the federal government to pay its expenses.”

  •  The Republican Party can broaden its reach by building more on issues that affect families. “When the family breaks down, then the community breaks down and, as a result of that, they become more reliant upon government. Why? Because the family and the community isn’t there to provide for the needs of the individual. We have a strong individual strain in America, but we don’t live our lives as radical individuals. We live dependent and interdependent on other people – our family members. We live lives of interdependence.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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