August 15, 2007

Giuliani: No Palestinian State Without Recognition Of Israel

Rudy Giuliani took a hard turn to the right on foreign policy yesterday in an essay published in Foreign Affairs magazine. As Eli Lake reports for the New York Sun, Giuliani eschewed almost two decades of American efforts towards a two-state solution and demanded Palestinian compliance with lawful governance before proceeding any further on their national ambitions:

The election of Hamas in the Palestinian-controlled territories is a case in point. The problem there is not the lack of statehood but corrupt and unaccountable governance. The Palestinian people need decent governance first, as a prerequisite for statehood. Too much emphasis has been placed on brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians -- negotiations that bring up the same issues again and again. It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism. Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel. America's commitment to Israel's security is a permanent feature of our foreign policy.

Interestingly, this is the only paragraph in a long essay that addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since most of the world considers this the center of the entire Middle East problem, this brief review will seem almost a shrug on Giuliani's part, and perhaps it is. This conflict has taken far too much attention for far too little gain for decades, and Giuliani may have a point in reducing its priority in American foreign policy.

Interestingly, John Edwards doesn't address it at all in his companion piece at Foreign Affairs. He mentions Israel twice -- once to acknowledge that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to wipe it off the map, and another in a generic statement that "we must stand by our partner" without explaining what he means by it. The UN gets twice as many references as Israel, all supportive of peacekeeping African forces without any mention of the chronic scandals that accompany them, and in another instance oddly requiring a UN framework to strengthen the ties with India that the Bush administration created without Turtle Bay.

How does Rudy consider the UN in his foreign policy outlook?

Finally, we need to look realistically at America's relationship with the United Nations. The organization can be useful for some humanitarian and peacekeeping functions, but we should not expect much more of it. The UN has proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years. Worse, it has failed to combat terrorism and human rights abuses. It has not lived up to the great hopes that inspired its creation. Too often, it has been weak, indecisive, and outright corrupt. The UN's charter and the speeches of its members' leaders have meant little because its members' deeds have frequently fallen short. International law and institutions exist to serve peoples and nations, but many leaders act as if the reverse were true -- that is, as if institutions, not the ends to be achieved, were the important thing.

Both the UN and the Palestinian leadership have that much in common. They have proved themselves useless, and for almost exactly the same reasons. Both have institutionalized corruption on massive scales. Both abet terrorism. Both abet human rights abuses, although to be fair, that's slightly more institutionalized in the Palestinian Authority than at the UN.

Comparing the two essays at Foreign Affairs, one clearly comes from someone who has paid attention to the world for the last several decades, and the other from someone more interested in running for President rather than attending committee meetings. See if you can figure out which is which.

UPDATE: Joe Gandelman has more.


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Former New York Mayor Giuliani has now made it clear he differs from the Bush administration on the idea of a Palestinian state: Republican 2008 White House front-runner Rudolph Giuliani warned Tuesday it was not in the interest of the United States to... [Read More]

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Comments (20)

Posted by FedUp | August 15, 2007 10:51 AM

I applaud Rudy on his stance. Israel should be our primary concern. The Palestinians have prove time and time again that they can't play well with others. Israel backed off, retreated from the Gaza strip and instead of being happy about that, the Palestinians (terrorists or not) wanted even more. That proble will never be settled until Palestine takes over Israeli territory. There will never be peaceful coexistence the way things are going over there. We need to support our allies!

The UN... what a joke! Move them off our shores and let them play their silly, corrupt games somewhere else. They are doing no measurable good!

Posted by onlineanalyst | August 15, 2007 11:01 AM

Wow! Both of those succinct paragraphs pack a wallop of a message and a terrific foreign policy stance that asserts our own national sovereignty, our place in the world community, and our loyalty to our allies.

Between these brief but serious reflections and Rudy Guiliani's thoughts on budgets and fiscal accountability, I am seeing the candidate as more and more able to assume the presidential mantle and certainly able to blow out of the water any Democrat contender for that same role.

Posted by brooklyn | August 15, 2007 11:22 AM

Rudy Remains Very Impressive

Posted by John | August 15, 2007 12:43 PM

Wow, I like Rudy on foreign affairs, but its going to be a big leap for me to get over NYC as a sanctuary city, his gun control stance, and abortion views - these are going to be high hurdles for him to get the GOP base members like to vote for him.

And how will the base respond as they find out more details of his, uh, interesting personal life? Donna Hanover, anyone?

Posted by patrick neid | August 15, 2007 1:28 PM

As more time goes on and folks actually hear for themselves what Rudy has to say his chances of living in the White House will continue to improve.

Repubs will have no problem voting for him. The world is a very dangerous place and pre 9/11 and I need a hug stuff is over. It doesn't take a village, it takes a leader. I don't care about donna hanover and any such bs. Rudy won't be getting bj's in the white house from interns while his wife makes excuses.

Rudy is about getting things done.

Posted by RKV | August 15, 2007 1:56 PM

Actions speak louder than words folks. Rudy is proving that he will say anything to get elected (well, he is a politician, isn't he?). And yeah, he helped NYC clean up its act. Being mayor a NYC isn't that much of a recommendation IMO. Sorry to say this to all you New Yorkers, but the rest of the US isn't as impressed with you as you are with yourselves. Among the other things he did when he was in office was 1) enforce unconstitutional laws 2) go to bat for illegals by directing NYC employees to ignore Federal laws 3) and he's pro abort, and has been for some time. I'll give a guy one break (e.g. one failed marriage), but that's all. I hope to God we can do better...

Posted by FedUp | August 15, 2007 2:10 PM

While it would be dandy to have Jesus running the country, we'll just have to settle for something a lot less! All the candidate clowns have something in their closet - I don't think we need to drag it all out and paw all over it!

We need someone with a clear vision and has the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what he believes is right.

My personal choice is Newt! At least he has a clue!

ps to RKV... who on this bunny trail hasn't said something in order to get votes???

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 15, 2007 2:38 PM

Wow. If you read Edwards' piece fully, he manages to subtly slam us Catholics within the first paragraph, using the (obviously carefully chosen and placed) words "infallibility" and "obedience".

He makes the statement that public opinion in Muslim countries ought to be a main driver for our foreign policy.

He the majority of the countries reviewed by a Pew survey don't like American ideas of democracy (does that mean "playing nice" will make them like them?).

He makes the point that our current leader is not viewed as trustworthy (well, I wonder how that happened?)

He states that the War on Terror isn't real (Tell that to the the people of New York, Washington DC, London, Madrid, and Glasgow, to the dead sailors from the Cole, and to the dead and wounded Australian holidayers in Bali)

He talks about the "politics of fear" (three fingers pointing back).

He talks about Al-Qaeda making inroads into Europe due to American policy (as if liberal immigration policy around the world doesn't induce this demographic).

He wants troops in Darfur (I wonder if he's talked to the Chadians and Sudanese and got concurrence on this?), and wants to pressure China to help end the problems in Darfur (as if China would ever exchange petrodollars for good will?)

He talks vacuously about Iran and Korea and the need to feed these regimes baksheesh in addition to the sabre-rattling.

His final paragraph has a truism: America stands at the pinnacle of power (Gee, John, I wonder how we got there?)

Posted by JEM | August 15, 2007 3:07 PM

I'm not going to try to defend some of Rudy's policies as NYC mayor, and I consider a narrowly pro-choice position on abortion to be acceptable personally (it should be a state issue, and I'd support nomination of justices who would see it that way) and a strength in terms of electability.

I'm generally impressed by the advisers Giuliani has pulled together, and that Foreign Affairs piece pretty much reads as if I'd written it. The crucial question: if he were to get into office, would he be willing to use banned coercive procedures on his State Department to get them to implement his policies? He doesn't need a diplomat for SecState, he needs an executioner.

I think I'll wait until a bit later and down a couple glasses of wine before I hit Edwards'.

Posted by sherlock | August 15, 2007 4:02 PM

"It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism."

"The UN has proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years."

Thump! Thump! Gauntlets thrown down!

Anything to say, Democrats?

Posted by Noocyte | August 15, 2007 4:59 PM

It has been a very long time since I have been this impressed by any candidate (with the exception of Clinton in '92...what can I say; Kool Aid was really yummy at the time!).

Socially moderate, fiscally conservative, strong on defense within the context of a muscular, well-articulated (and won't that be a pleasant change!), and coherent foreign policy...not much else I need (and I couldn't give a dingo's kidneys about his personal life, so long as he doesn't perjure himself about it!).

I am not especially bothered by his previous "sanctuary" policies on immigration; this was a pre-9/11 NYC (security did not have the sort of urgency that it should have had then, or that it certainly does have now), and he had to balance numerous constituencies and keep the rehabilitation of the NYC economy proceeding apace (which end I might speculate was well-served by having a large pool of cheap labor on hand...but I am no economist).

As for his gun control history...well, it does make me a mite edgy, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept his answer that this was a manifestation of his Federalist approach: what's good for NYC (as he saw it, and as he chose to pursue it through policy) should not be interpreted as being good for another part of the country. This may be problematic, given the constitutionally protected RTKBA, and folks of good conscience can/do/should disagree on this matter. However, I am not convinced that RG would try and impose anything like his NYC gun-grabbing on a Federal level, should he reach the White House.

In sum, his foreign policy ideas, his deep understanding of the Core/Gap nature of the Jihadi challenge to Globalization in the years to come, his demonstrated fiscal discipline, and his ability to speak clearly and eloquently on all of the above make him the best bet in town.

The fact that he can speak specifically and consistently on the (ghastly, tragic, and much more widely preventable) matter of abortion, offering solutions which make those on the extremes of the conversation uncomfortable, while addressing the concerns of folks who live closer to the middle (like yours truly) is a breath of fresh air in a needlessly stagnant debate.

In short, Rudy gets it. He's the sort of candidate I became a Republican (to the horror or pretty much everyone I know) to vote for in the primaries. Hell, I may even volunteer for his campaign (and I NEVER do that).

Posted by Fight4TheRight | August 15, 2007 5:17 PM

How can anyone not at least lean towards voting for Rudy with these kinds of spot on statements?!!!

I've said this before here at CQ - imagine yourself as Mayor of NYC and you have the largest police force in the world. And that police force is the line in the sand between you being a successful Mayor and the city being overrun by thugs and gangs. And that police force, from its Administration down to beat cops, are FOR gun control measures - you would stand up on a Friday morning before the world and state you won't support ANY gun control measures?!? You'd do that and watch that police force, in essence, distance itself from any leadership role you hold?

I own three guns and I live a heckuva long way from NYC. No one is coming to get my guns, whether there is a federal law or a local one or both. No one gets my guns. And I'm here to say I have no fear of Rudy's stance on gun control. His position was necessary for his role as Mayor of NYC. Believe me, he'll have bigger issues on his plate as President.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 15, 2007 5:55 PM


Remember Dredd Scott?

Abortion is not a state issue, just as slavery, separate-but-equal accomodation, inter-racial marriage, and gun ownership were/are not state issues, no matter how the states try(ed) to make them so.

There are a whole set of interesting rights which derive from the Commerce clauses of our constitution. The moment one state recognizes a right, all the others must too -- and that goes for the fetus as well as the mother. This mishmash of competing "states' rights" is certainly destined for the Court.

To crystallize this point, consider a woman traveling from her home state in which certain forms of abortion are murder to one in which they are not -- or vice versa. In essence, in one state the fetus is treated as a human being, and, in the other, property. The identical conditions associated with the slavery issue exist here. These rights collide at the center of the debate.

There is no middle ground in this matter (protection of the property and rights of a citizen), as should be obvious from very strong opinions held by other posters on this board. As Abe Lincoln once said, we either shall become wholly one or the other.

Posted by Eric | August 15, 2007 6:10 PM

Rudy is a big brained man. It’s very obvious. And truthfully, following the current President (who I think is also smart, but not necessarily well spoken,) it could be nice to have a fast talking, witty New Yorker.

I’ve said it before, Rudy, Mitt and Hillary all have elements of good opinions that are well stated.

Edwards, Obama, McCain…less so. Quite a bit less so.

Posted by Ray | August 15, 2007 6:15 PM

This is a very impressive policy statement(s) by Rudy. It leaves little doubt about his stance and was delivered well. My admiration for him just increased.

Posted by Eric | August 15, 2007 6:37 PM


Your above statement is one of the strongest arguments I've ever seen to prohibit abortion (at least from a legal standpoint.) Well said.

I think that the issue will not be decided ultimately by a President, but rather, by Congress. Currently, it has been decided by the Supreme Court and that's not the best place for legislation to be written.

I want to be very careful about how I say this because I know that people feel very strongly about this issue. I think that Republicans have allowed this to become their version of "Health Care," but the problem is that it's a much more difficult battle to fight. People are very adamant about this issue because it speaks to their values and I don't see a lot of opinions changing. The public is fairly evenly divided on the issue – I think.

I guess that what I'm saying is this: by placing this issue in the Presidential arena, are you ultimately harming your candidate? Would it be better to throw it at Congress since they are the ones that need to deal with it? I really don't think the President will have much say on the matter.

Posted by JEM | August 15, 2007 8:34 PM

Actually, I thought unclesmrgol's statement was a very strong reason to ensure that abortion stays legal at the federal level.

Posted by athingortwo | August 15, 2007 10:03 PM

I am pretty certain that Rudy Giuliani could be having a conversation with his son about the price of football jerseys at the mall, and a bunch of people will turn it into another mind-numbing argument - for the ten billionth time - over abortion.

And guess what? Nobody's going to change anybody else's mind on the subject, no matter what anybody says about their feelings on the matter of abortion.

And for those who don't know their high school civics lessons, to change the Constitution requires a supermajority of both houses of Congress and a supermajority of the legislatures of the states.

The chances of passing a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in America under those rules? About the same probability that Hillary Rodham Clinton is really a moderate, sensible leader who only cares what is best for America.

Eric is right - the more we talk about abortion in the Republican Party the more people we turn off.

The subject of the Capn's post, by the way, was Giuliani's position on Israel and the Palestinian State.

Posted by Edward Cropper | August 15, 2007 10:25 PM

Everything about Giuliani is contrived. If you went into his bedroom at three in the morning shook him awake and asked him what was in his foreign policy statement he probably couldn't tell you a thing.
Where was he on all these important issues before running for the nomination? Traveling all over the world making himself rich. He is a fraud and is snowing Republicans. If you were from New York and were running for any office are you going to say anything that might offend the Jewish community?
Rudy may very well be pro-Israel, I hope he truly is but I am suspect of anything any candidate says while running that they weren't passionate about before.
Be it Israel, abortion, Immigration, taxes, foreign policy, apple pie, the flag, motherhood, gay rights, or marriage (he should be an authority on that one

Posted by Edward | August 17, 2007 8:12 AM

Yeah, that's all we need; another go-it-alone tough guy who'll start a war with Iran? I can hardly wait. Our last such misadventure, the war in Iraq, cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, nearly 30,000 American casualties, and a Democratic Congress.

We should have focused our fight to Afghanistan and elsewhere, rather than squander our red-blooded youth in the sands of Iraq.

A true Conservative would NEVER trade one type of government power for another. A welfare state or an imperialist a true Conservative, there's little difference.

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