As a rite of summer in U.S. presidential campaigns, the nominee of the challenging party takes a trip out of the country to buff up his foreign policy credentials. Republican Mitt Romney is no exception, and his trip, not surprisingly, included a stop in Israel.
Romney has a long friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Israel would be the stop where he could flex muscles against Iran and declare – in very helpful political photo ops – solidarity with the Israeli nation and people.
Alas, even the best prepped campaign stops can be smudged. “East Jerusalem is occupied territory,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told CNN after Romney’s remarks. “Those who seek peace between Palestine and Israel and those who seek to save lives must stand tall for the two state solution and for East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine.”
And there is the rub. Not the expected push back of Romney, but the mention of the “two-state solution” as the accepted path to the future of the region.
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