Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cain's Palin Moment: "Right of Return" Edition

Hey, remember when Sarah Palin had no earthly idea what the "Bush Doctrine" was? Herman Cain must be having flashbacks, as he just utterly bombed a question regarding Palestinian "right of return" to Israel.
But this morning on Fox News Sunday, Cain showed just how limited his understanding is of the Middle East peace process. Asked by host Chris Wallace what he would be prepared to offer Palestinians as part of a deal, Cain responded, “Nothing.” Just moments later, Cain was dazed and confused when Wallace referenced the issue of “right of return” of Palestinian refugees:

WALLACE: Where do you stand on the right of return?

CAIN: The right of return? [pause] The right of return?

WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.

CAIN: That’s something that should be negotiated. That’s something that should be negotiated.

Wallace then helpfully offered Cain a definition of “right of return” — “Palestinian refugees, the people that were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able to or should have any right to return to Israeli land.” Cain again showed his lack of knowledge, veering completely off his pro-Likud script. “I don’t think they have a big problem with people returning,” Cain said.

This is a guy who was just talking a big game about Obama throwing Israel under a bus. And yet here he is, blundering across the biggest Israeli red line there is.

Now, obviously this isn't a thought-out position from Mr. Cain. He was clearly ignorant about the question, took a wild stab at the answer, and happened to miss completely. So let me make an easy cheat-sheet for the political novice:

(1) Two-state solution, roughly tracking 1967 lines with mutually-agreed upon land swaps = the basic template of a negotiated solution for the past several decades.

(2) Palestinian right of return to Israel proper = the one thing no Israeli government will ever, ever accept, because it means the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

But don't sweat it. It takes practice to pretend to care about Israel and Jews in an effective and persuasive manner. I'm sure you'll improve with time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Righteous! That last paragraph is a winner. I'll have to use it.