Clinton says Perry is ideologically in line with 'militant subgroups in Israel.
Former President Bill Clinton suggested Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was ideologically in line with “militant subgroups in Israel” and was too willing to let the Jewish state do whatever it wants.
Asked about Perry’s recent strongly pro-Israel comments, Clinton said the 2012 Republican hopeful’s stance was “good politics.”
“Rick Perry — that’s my culture, you know? I’m from next door,” the Arkansas native said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “There’s an enormous reservoir of support for Israel in the Christian evangelical community, and a lot of them believe — as some of the more militant subgroups do — that God meant for all Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] to be in the hands of Israel. … I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of people that have never missed church on Sunday in Texas who believe it.”
Clinton also said Perry and Republicans in Congress are willing to capitulate to Israel on too many issues.
The former president summed up his views on the GOP perspective as, “‘You guys [Israel] do whatever you want — keep the West Bank. We’re coming back, we’ll have the White House and Congress, and we’ll let you do whatever you want.’”
Perry spoke to a group of pro-Israel activists earlier this week in New York City and sharply criticized President Barack Obama for being too close with Palestinian leaders.
“It is time to change our policy of appeasement toward the Palestinians to strengthen our ties to the nation of Israel, and in the process establish a robust American position in the Middle East characterized by a new firmness and a new resolve,” Perry said.
“As a Christian, I have a clear directive to support Israel, so from my perspective it’s pretty easy,” he added when asked about how his religion played into his views.
Clinton also said Republicans in Congress were also overly sympathetic toward Israel. “They’re more militant than the Israelis are, than a lot of them,” said Clinton.
The 42nd president also weighed in on the partisan discord that has recently seized Washington, D.C., and put part of the blame on Americans themselves.
“The American people can’t escape all responsibility for this. What works best in politics is clear, sharp conflict. and it also tends to be effective in getting a snippet on the evening news. But what works best in real life is cooperation, which is often not as exciting, but almost always more effective,” said Clinton.