Rick Perry, writing in the Jerusalem Post:
Surrounded by unfriendly neighbors and terror organizations that aim to destroy it, life has never been easy for Israel. Today, the challenges are mounting. The Jewish state faces growing hostility from Turkey. Its three decade-old peace with Egypt hangs by a thread. Iran pursues nuclear weapons its leaders vow to use to annihilate Israel. Terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians from Hezbollah and Hamas continue.
And now, the Palestinian leadership is intent on trashing the possibility of a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Israel in favor of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations.
The Palestinian plan to win that one-sided endorsement from the UN this month in New York threatens Israel and insults the United States. The US and UN have long supported the idea that Israel and its neighbors should make peace through direct negotiations.
Perry, the governor of Texas and a Republican presidential candidate, blames "unfortunate errors by the Obama administration [that] have encouraged the Palestinians to take steps backward away from peace." Perry goes on to list the mistakes:
It was a mistake to inject an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks. Indeed, the Palestinian leadership had been negotiating with Israel for years, notwithstanding settlement activity.
When the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, it led to a freeze in Palestinian negotiations.
It was a mistake to agree to the Palestinians’ demand for indirect negotiations conducted through the United States. And it was an even greater mistake for President Obama to distance himself from Israel and seek engagement with the hostile regimes in Syria and Iran.