Posted on January 01, 2011 in Campaign Statements

The foundation of a successful U.S. policy in the Middle East rests upon a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.   The U.S. and Israel share a special bond rooted in history and solidified over more than five decades of partnership.  

The nation of Israel itself, of course, lives in a turbulent region.  An enduring peace that protects and promotes Israel’s interest remains a priority.  While an Israeli state and a Palestinian state existing peacefully side-by-side may be an appropriate aspiration, we must ensure our efforts to achieve that outcome advance Israel’s security, not threaten it.  

The United States should not pressure Israel to negotiate with terrorists, nor to enter into any negotiated deals that threaten Israel’s security. We are inspired by the “Arab Spring,” in which the Arab people are calling for an end to decades of dictatorial and corrupt leadership.  These events also give rise to the notion Israel is the source of all problems in the Middle East.  While we encourage Arabs to push for democracy and economic opportunity, we should also acknowledge that for Israel there are new complexities that exist. 

Iran presents the most serious threat to Israel.  The next President must work in partnership with the international community to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. 
The people of Israel have lost confidence in the Obama Administration and no longer feel the President understands Israel’s security needs. The best chance for peace is for Israel to know that America stands shoulder-to-shoulder beside her and for the Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate with each other.  The next President must work to regain the confidence of friends in Israel so meaningful work toward an enduring peace can begin.  

Jon Huntsman Priorities:

Rebuilding Israel-American Relations: Israel is an ally, a fellow democracy, and shares our values and interests. The people of Israel have lost confidence in the Obama administration and no longer feel the president understands Israel’s security needs. In the short term, we must work to regain the confidence of friends in Israel so that meaningful work toward an enduring peace can begin.

Palestinian-Israeli peace process: An enduring peace that protects and promotes Israel’s interests should remain our priority.

Confronting Iran: Iran poses a threat to Israel and a strategic challenge to the United States.  Sustainable peace and stability in the Middle East will not be realized unless there is a fundamental change to the trajectory of Iran’s rise.   A nuclear-armed Iran poses unacceptable risks to our interests.   Robust sanctions, diplomatic pressure, and military deterrence must be continued in the near-term.

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The United States and Israel share a special bond rooted in history and solidified over more than five decades of partnership.  Israel is an ally, a fellow democracy, and shares many of America’s values and interests. Unfortunately, the U.S.-Israeli relationship has suffered under mismanagement by President Obama and both nations must now work to improve ties. 
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains one of the greatest foreign policy obstacles confronting the United States. The United States should redouble its efforts to broker a lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Yet, we must ensure that our efforts to achieve such outcome are consistent with Israel’s security interests. 

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