Mitt Romney's 'No Hope' campaign for Middle East
Mitt Romney in the disputed capital, Jerusalem
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has once again confirmed his position as gaffe-maker of the Middle East.
This time, secret footage from a private-donor dinner back in May shows that Romney has given up on the Middle East peace process before even trying. Not only is he seemingly baffled by boundaries, but Romney also appears to advocate a 'no state solution' for Israel-Palestine.
In his attempt to understand exactly where the borders of the West Bank lie, it seems that Romney has ditched his previous understanding of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and is grappling with a newfound belief that Tel Aviv is "the financial capital", "the industrial capital" and yes, "the centre of Israel".
Although keen to flex his foreign policy credentials, he offers no obvious solutions or plans for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. Comparing the Middle East to America's relationship with China and Taiwan, he says: "All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."
So, why does Romney see any prospect of peace in the embittered region as unfathomable? Because "Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace" and are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel" of course.
The Republican candidate acknowledges that some might argue a strong case for giving the Palestinians the West Bank. But, this kind of thinking apparently gives way to "a couple of thorny questions" or rather security concerns.
Earlier this year, Romney spoke aggressively about protecting Israel from Iranian nuclear threats, even going as far as to suggest that he would be open to breaking U.S. Policy by moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem if the Israelis asked. In this most recent speech, Romney again raises the issue of Iran claiming that they 'would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank' that could act as a threat to Israel. He also notes that Israel would have to take responsibility of air-traffic control because of the threat of military aircraft coming into the region.
Ultimately, Romney prescribes a 'close your eyes and hope for the best' solution to the conflict, although by his own admission 'the best' will probably never materialize: "You move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem."
Online activists and reporters have seen this no-hope attitude as a serious dent in Romney's campaign for power.
What do you think of Romney's 'no state' solution? WIll it affect his chances in the polls? Leave us your comments below!
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