2008 Presidential Candidates’ Views on the Middle East
"For years now, the Islamic Republic of Iran has defied and played games with every international effort aimed at persuading the country to halt enriching uranium….Sanctions and other pressures must be continued and stepped up until Iran complies by halting enrichment activities in a verifiable way." (New York Times, December 3, 2007)
On negotiating with Iran: “You cannot negotiate with someone who is threatening to destroy you and your family.” (Jerusalem Post, October 18, 2007)
The most immediate threat is that the “single biggest state sponsor of Islamic terrorism” would pass nuclear material on to terrorists rather than use a bomb itself. “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot, but it was because he pointed like a thousand missiles at Soviet cities.” (September 6, 2007)
“The theocrats ruling Iran need to understand that we can wield the stick as well as the carrot, by undermining popular support for their regime, damaging the Iranian economy, weakening Iran's military, and, should all else fail, destroying its nuclear infrastructure.” (August 15, 2007)
“(I will let Iran know that) You're are not going to be allowed to become a nuclear power- no how, no way, it's not going to happen....In regards to Iranian President Ahmadinejad's threats to destroy Israel: I assume he's telling the truth, and I'm going to stop him... we made that mistake with Hitler (of disregarding his threats), and we're not going to make that mistake again.” (Address to Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
"Part of the premise of talking to Iran has to be that they have to know very clearly that it is unacceptable to the United States that they have nuclear power. I think it could be done with conventional weapons, but you can't rule out anything and you shouldn't take any option off the table.
And during the debate the other night, the Democrats seemed to be back in the 1990s. They don't seem to have gotten beyond the Cold War. Iran is a threat, a nuclear threat, not just because they can deliver a nuclear warhead with missiles. They're a nuclear threat because they are the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and they can hand nuclear materials to terrorists.
And we just saw it just last week in New York, an attempt by Islamic terrorists to attack JFK airport; three weeks ago, an attempt to attack Fort Dix. These are real problems. This war is not a bumper sticker. This war is a real war.”(New Hampshire Republican presidential debate, June 4, 2007)
“I think it (destroying Iranian nuclear facilities) could be done with conventional weapons, but you can't rule out anything and you shouldn't take any option off the table.” (New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, June 4, 2007)
Peace with the Palestinians:
“Well, I think the most important thing is the steps that the Palestinian Authority now takes, and how realistic they are, to accomplish at least three things. First of all, to make it clear that it will accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.” (JTA, January 13, 2008)
Number two, to forgo terrorism, first as a statement of policy and then in reality - something that has to be tested. You know, Ronald Reagan had a theory of trust but verify. So we get the statement of policy that they''ve - they will forgo terrorism.
Giuliani said he was more decisive than [Hilary] Clinton, noting his order in 1995 ejecting Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from a Lincoln Center concert.
Giuliani hinted at a split with the Bush administration, saying the time was not ripe to discuss Palestinian statehood. He said Palestinians must recognize Israel and dismantle terrorist groups.
"If they do those two things and they mean it, and time demonstrates that they mean it, then of course we negotiate," Giuliani said. (Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum, October 16, 2007 reported by JTA)
“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.” (August 15, 2007)
“We should try to help (Abbas, but we need to have) steely realism and not such a great desire for peace that we'll agree to anything...we need to trust but verify.” (Address at Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
“Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table. How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?” (Republican Party Convention, August 2004)
“In the 1990s, the terrorists told us what they were going to do and we ignored it. We glorified Yasser Arafat when he was training terrorists in Palestine.” (January 2002)
Hamas and the Situation in Gaza:
“(The civil war in the Gaza Strip this month) was just a microcosm of what will happen in Iraq" between Shiites and Sunnis if the U.S. sets a timetable for withdrawal of its troops.” (Address at Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
Negotiations with Syria and Lebanon:
“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.” (August 15, 2007)
The United States-Israel Relationship:
Rudy Giuliani called for Israel to be included in an expanded NATO. (September 20, 2007)
“(I can see) no hypothetical situation that would seperate me from Israel...Freindships are rooted in what we are and what we're all about...countries are friends like people are friends- you know them intimately, and there's nothing that can stop me from being their (Israel's) friend.” (Address at Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
“I don't question their (the Democrat's) patriotism, I don't question whether they care about the troops, I question their judgement...They don't accept the threat of terrorism..and I question whether the Democratic Party faces reality.” (Address to Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
“Terrorism did not start on September 11...America did not recognize evil and appreciate it for what it was. Part of that comes from being good people- we tend to think that other people like us, but some movements aren't good people.” (Address to Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
"(My professional experience in prosecuting terrorism has provided me with) the best understanding of the common foe we face." (Address to Congregation B'nai Israel of Rockville, MD. June 26, 2007)
“Israel is the only outpost of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the only absolutely reliable friend of the United States.” (August 2002)
“The people of Jerusalem and the people of New York City are shoulder-to-shoulder; and the people of America and the people of Israel are shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against terrorism.” (Jerusalem, December 2001)