Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Israel | Middle East | Ed Royce | John Kerry | Israel

Rep. Ed Royce: Kerry Gaffe Shows True Colors on Mideast Policy

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 03:39 PM

By Joe Battaglia

Secretary of State John Kerry should not be forced to resign in the wake of his stating that Israel could become an "apartheid state" if it doesn't reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, and keeping him on signals the rest of the world to the true nature of the Obama administration's foreign policy, said Rep. Ed Royce.

Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV that while he believes "it's time for the administration to reverse its policy on Israel," he does not believe that will begin with the removal of Kerry from his position.

"Personnel is not going to be changed by this administration and frankly, to have it advertised is to put us all on notice in terms of what the president really believes," Royce said. "Now, we have gone through this in terms of his choice as secretary of defense and his choice of secretary of state and, at the end of the day, it's best to have the colors that they're flying known."

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"It's best to know the thinking of this administration. So, from my standpoint, this is a wake-up call for everybody who's concerned about security in the Middle East, about the security of Israel and about the foreign policy direction of the United States. I actually think there's a certain advantage to having these things broadcast so that people really know what's on the minds of the administration."

Royce said that he cannot understand why more attention is not given to the failed practices and foreign policy decisions made by President Barack Obama.

Specific to Israel, he believes that more pressure should be applied to Mahmoud Abbas to end his allegiance with Hamas and get back to the peace negotiating table.

"There's no way that Israel can go forward and negotiate with Hamas being part of the Palestinian authority because Hamas itself, by its own charter, has as the precondition the elimination of the Jewish state and the Jewish people there in Israel," Royce said. "I'm just absolutely flabbergasted at where we're putting the pressure here. You know, the pressure should've been deployed instead directly on Abbas for bringing Hamas into the government."

Royce also lamented that "it's taking an awful lot of time for the American people to figure out" the Obama administration's rush forward with the Russian reset idea and the decision to strip Poland and the Czech Republic of the interceptor program that could be used to defend Eastern Europe.

"That didn't get a lot of publicity. That sort of went under the radar," Royce said. "As they went forward with that plan to reset the Russian relationship, we can in retrospect see how that was interpreted by Russia, as weakness … and at the same time now we have these statements that have come to the fore with respect to our comments about our ally Israel.

"In having these things out in the public, having discussions of the aims of the administration and the attitude of the administration about our allies, it is very, very helpful for people to start to reflect right now on the way we've treated Poland, the way we've treated the Czech Republic, the nonchalance with which we've approached the situation in Ukraine, and now add to this, the way we're treating Israel. These you know, are countries allied to our cause, and this is very advantageous to have some of this [questioning] out in circulation right now."

Rather than implementing more sanctions that fail "to challenge their hegemony" on gas exports, Royce would like to see the United States come up with an energy policy that would put them in direct competition with Russia, perhaps loosening its grip of control over the Europe Union.

"A national policy in which we state our intention, as Reagan did, to sort of bankrupt their stranglehold over gas and oil in the east by shipping into Eastern Europe is what we should do," Royce said. "It's time that we directly got in there and competed with Russia. Let's move forward with a national energy plan that undercuts Russia's grip on Eastern Europe."

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