Hillary: Both Cruz and Trump Are Wrong on Israel

Supporting Israel and pursuing the two-state solution are not “mutually exclusive,” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.

“I happen to think that moving toward a two-state solution, trying to provide more support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people is in the long-term best interests of Israel, as well as the region, and, of course, the people themselves,” Clinton told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday.

Clinton’s statement came in response to Donald Trump’s comments last week, in which he suggested that he would be “neutral” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to broker peace negotiations.

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz responded to Trump on Friday, saying, “I have no intention of being neutral.” He would be standing by Israel.

But according to Clinton, both Trump and Cruz “missed the mark” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

First of all, Israel is our partner, our ally. We have longstanding and important ties with Israelis going back to the formation of the state of Israel,” she asserted. “I will defend and do everything I can to support Israel, particularly as the neighborhood around it seems to become more dangerous and difficult. I also believe the Palestinians deserve to have a state of their own. That’s why I support a two-state solution.”

Clinton further touted her effort as Secretary of State in brokering peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. “That’s what I tried to move forward when I was Secretary [of State], and holding three very intense conversations between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the Palestinian Authority,” she said. “Those are not mutually exclusive.”

Trump dismissed the criticism by highlighting his 2013 endorsement of Netanyahu. “I’m very pro-Israel,” Trump told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “In fact, I was the head of the Israeli Day Parade a number of years ago, I did a commercial for Netanyahu when he was getting elected, he asked me to do a commercial for him, I did a commercial for him. I am.” He also clarified his ‘neutral’ position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “People are born with hatred, they’re taught hatred. And I have to say, it’s mostly on the one side, not on the other side. But they’re taught hatred. I say this. If I’m going to be president, I’d rather be in the position, because I will try the best I can, and I’m a very good dealmaker, believe me, to try and solve that puzzle. You’re not going to solve it if you’re going to be on one side or another. Everyone understands that. If I’m going to solve the problem, I want to go in with a clean slate. Otherwise, you’re never going to get the cooperation of the other side.”

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