America has no business dictating terms on issues of vital national security to Israel, US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a possible candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, said in the Knesset Monday.
He placed the blame on the Palestinians for the recent failure of peace talks, saying “the principal impediment to peace is that, to date, the Palestinians have refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and have refused to renounce terror.
“Unless and until the Palestinians can agree on those very basic starting blocks, no lasting peace solution is likely,” he stated.
Cruz described US President Barack Obama administration’s approach to Israel-Palestinian talks as “to criticize and harangue and pressure the Israeli government.”
“The US should stand with Israel,” the Texan senator, who sported black cowboy boots and a Lone Star belt-buckle, said.
“Terms of peace should not be dictated by outsiders,” Cruz explained. “America has a role facilitating negotiations, helping bring the parties together and providing a fair and neutral forum where booth sides can engage, if they wish, in good-faith negotiations, but any decisions about the terms of a peace deal should be made by Israel and the Palestinians.”
Settlements, for example, are “a question for the government of Israel,” said Cruz, who doesn’t “think it’s America’s role to try to impose a policy about where Israeli settlements are located and where they’re not.”
The senator was on a two-day trip to Israel, followed by Poland, Ukraine and Estonia, which is thought to be an attempt to boost his foreign policy bona-fides. He met with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) in the Knesset.
Cruz maintained his call for US Secretary of State John Kerry to resign earlier this year for using the term “apartheid” in a doomsday prediction of what will happen to Israel if it does not make peace with the Palestinians.
For the secretary of state to use a loaded term like ‘apartheid’ with regard to Israel was grotesquely inaccurate and deeply harmful,” Cruz said.
“Those words will be repeated by enemies of Israel, by Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran, and all of them will say ‘this is not our characterization, these are the words of the US secretary of state.’” According to Cruz, Kerry’s comments were “part of a long string of foreign policy blunders, which have consistently alienated and abandoned our friends and allies, and embraced and appeased our enemies.”
One of the ways the Obama administration does that is to ignore laws about sending funds to foreign countries, Cruz explained, expressing concern that the president will find ways to continue to fund the Palestinian Authority despite the expected Fatah- Hamas coalition government.
US law forbids funding terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
“As long as Hamas embraces terrorism, they should not be receiving US taxpayer dollars.