Cruz: Israeli Gov’t Should Decide on Territorial Concessions

U.S. support for Israel should start by giving the Israeli government – left or right – the independence in deciding on territorial concessions to the Palestinians if they move forward on a peace settlement, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said in an interview published in the Jerusalem Post on Friday.

“If Israel chooses to negotiate and reach a settlement with the Palestinian Authority, that is Israel’s right as a sovereign state, and America can help provide a fair forum for negotiations,” Cruz told the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick in a phone interview. “But it is not the role of the American government to attempt to lecture the Israeli people or dictate terms of peace. No one has a greater incentive to seek peace than the people of Israel, who have lived with the daily threat of rocket attacks or knifings or terrorist bombs.”

Asked if he supports the two-state solution, Cruz responded that it is not a U.S. national security interest but a regional undertaking by two parties committed to living in peace. “That is a question to be decided by the nation of Israel and the Palestinian people,” he asserted. “I do not believe the United States should try to dictate the terms of peace. We have seen now for two decades American presidents trying to dictate the terms of peace. And it hasn’t worked. The Palestinians have turned down every reasonable offer of peace. And I believe America should stand unshakably alongside the nation of Israel.”

Cruz said that his position not only differs from the Obama administration but also from the Bush administration’s policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. “I do not believe the American government should be dictating terms of peace or settlement policy to the nation of Israel. Israel is a sovereign nation,” the Texas Senator declared.

The Republican presidential hopeful reiterated his claim that nothing is more important to stopping a nuclear Iran than the next presidential election. “I believe this issue is becoming the single most important issue in the presidential election. I have pledged that if I am elected president, to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal on my very first day in office and to make abundantly clear that under no circumstances will the nation of Iran, led by a theocratic ayatollah who chants Death to America, be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons,” said Cruz.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.