Mitt Romney & Norm Coleman Pen Op-Ed on Palestinian Bid for Statehood

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas


Before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented his case for Palestine to recognized as a member state to the United Nations today, Mitt Romney and his newly-named campaign special adviser, Norm Coleman, paired up to write an op-ed. It was published in the National Review:

Mistakes That Led To The Palestinian Statehood Bid, And How To Fix Them

By Mitt Romney & Senator Norm Coleman
September 22, 2011

This Friday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas will appeal to the General Assembly for United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood. We need to be completely clear about what is transpiring. This is not a step forward in the quest for peace and, legally, will not create a Palestinian state. Rather, it is a step forward in the vicious campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel.

The Palestinian action in the United Nations does not conform to the process for arriving at a two-state solution laid out in the Oslo Accords. Indeed, it is taking place in naked defiance of an agreement to which the Palestinians are signatory. Its effect will be to once again dash the hopes of all who seek lasting peace in the Middle East.

This is an especially dangerous moment for the state of Israel. It has deteriorating relationships with Turkey and Egypt. It faces longstanding dangers from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, a violent and highly unstable Syria, and a nuclear-aspiring Iran. United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state at this juncture will serve only to further isolate the Jewish state, sap its confidence in the peace process, and exacerbate regional tensions.

Worse, because it will not change the facts on the ground, it will raise and then dash Palestinian and Arab expectations. This increases the likelihood of violence, particularly at a moment when despots like Bashar al Assad want nothing more than to divert attention from their internal crises by scapegoating Israel.
Without question, a blow is being struck against peace. How did we arrive at this point?

Unfortunately, the road was paved largely by a series of mistakes and miscalculations by President Obama. He and his administration have badly misunderstood the dynamics of the region. Instead of fostering stability and security, they have diminished U.S. authority and painted our ally Israel into a corner.

To begin with, President Obama for too long has been in the grip of several illusions. One is that the Palestinian–Israeli dispute is the central problem in the region. This has been disproved repeatedly by events, most recently and most dramatically by the eruption of the Arab Spring. But it nonetheless led the administration to believe that distancing the United States from Israel was a smart move that would earn us credits in the Arab world and somehow bring peace closer. The record proves otherwise.

But the administration’s errors extend in other directions as well. [...]

(emphasis added) Read full article here.

Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President, addressed the U.N. General Assembly yesterday (9/23/11):

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, also addressed the U.N. General Assembly yesterday (9/23/11):




► Jayde Wyatt