There's a word that might describe Mitt Romney's sudden shift to supporting the peace process in the Mideast: chutzpah. "I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel," Romney said on Monday, while blaming President Obama for the collapse of talks.
Sure, Romney has spent the duration of the election shoring up his pro-Israel bona fides, assuring Israelis that he would keep his differences with the Jewish state private. But, as it's so often noted, it takes two to tango. And Romney has done less than nothing to convince the Palestinians that he could possibly broker a peace deal. Why? Because they've listened to what he's said about them. Let's review:
During a Republican debate in December, Newt Gingrich stood by his statement that Palestinians are an "invented" people and, for good measure, added: "These people are terrorists." Asked if he agreed with Gingrich, Romney said, "I happen to agree with most of what the Speaker said, except by going out and saying the Palestinians are an invented people." So the state Romney now hopes to create alongside Israel will be populated by real people who are terrorists.
When Romney spoke in Jerusalem in July, he attributed Palestinian economic woes to their "culture and a few other things," and later doubled down on the statement. That, naturally, didn't sit so well with the Palestinians. So the state Romney now hopes to create alongside Israel will be "prosperous," perhaps anticipating some great shift in Palestinian culture.
At a fundraiser in May, a tape of which was revealed by Mother Jones last month, Romney said the Palestinians—all of them, it seems—don't want peace and are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel." The prospects for peace, then? "There's just no way," Romney told the Boca Raton audience. So the state Romney now hopes to create alongside Israel will be populated by a people who want to destroy Israel, and it probably won't happen anyway.
And this will be the new peacemaker?