The National Jewish Democratic Council today criticized the remarks made by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry during a Tuesday press conference. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:
“Rick Perry’s comments today demonstrate that he clearly has little command of the U.S.-Israel relationship and even less interest in preserving the historic bipartisan support for Israel. His baseless attacks on President Barack Obama’s strong record of support for Israel and the actions that the President and his Administration are taking to beat back the Palestinian’s unilateral initiative are nothing more than a deeply disturbing ploy to inject domestic politics into the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren has repeatedly [JTA, August 11, 2011] [Haaretz, October 24, 2010] warned against using Israel as a political football given the danger it spells for Israel’s most important relationship. Yet Perry and too many other Republicans continue their shameful behavior. One must ask, ‘How does Perry intend to help the State of Israel by attacking Israel’s most powerful advocate as he is about to defend Israel’s legitimacy on the international stage?’—especially when Prime Minister Netanyahu himself [The Jerusalem Post, September 19, 2011] and others are praising the President for his close diplomatic and security cooperation [NJDC, August 3, 2011] with Israel over just the past two weeks [NJDC, September 14, 2011].
With today’s press conference, it appears that Perry and others like him are not thinking beyond their immediate political concerns. It is long past time for Perry and other Republicans to heed the advice of those genuinely working towards bipartisan support for Israel, and to quit playing political games with support for Israel.”