Romney vs. Mackey's revisionist history

The Sunday edition of DG's Mideast Media Sampler (an indispensible resource that I can't recommend highly enough) analyzed several serious flaws in Robert Mackey's obnoxiously opportunistic manipulation of the uproar over Mitt Romney's extremely reasonable assessment of the Middle East "peace process" at that over-publicized fundraiser last spring in Boca Raton.  (Yes, that sentence is unwieldy to say the least but I need to move on ...).  The serious flaws being too numerous to count, however, here's yet another.

Mackey sez:

Mr. Romney's frank remarks, which undercut even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's public endorsement of "a solution of two states for two peoples: a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state," seemed to break from decades of official American foreign policy. Since before the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, Republican and Democratic presidents have thrown their weight behind the effort to secure Israel's future as a democratic state with a Jewish majority by creating a second state for up 2.5 million Palestinians who have lived under Israeli military rule for more than four decades.
"Decades of official American foreign policy?"  For those of us who were sentient and paying attention "before the Oslo Accords," that sort of reeked of wrongness.  So I took a look.

The very first Democratic Party Platform to advocate palestinian statehood was that of the 2004 convention, and it was equivocal.

We support the creation of a democratic Palestinian state dedicated to living in peace and security side by side with the Jewish State of Israel. The creation of a Palestinian state should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. Furthermore, all understand that it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. And we understand that all final status negotiations must be mutually agreed.
In 1988, the Republican Party Platform still expressly opposed it.

We believe the establishment of a Palestinian State on the West Bank would be destabilizing and harmful to the peace process.
and didn't mention it again until, also in 2004, for the first time, they offered a highly qualified endorsement.

If Palestinians embrace democracy and the rule of law, confront corruption, and firmly reject terror, they can count on American support for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Ok, the party platform doesn't always reflect administration policy.  But it's common knowledge that G.W. Bush, in his first term (2001-2005), was the first president to explicitly advocate a palestinian state while in office and then both parties' platforms rushed to catch up.  Clinton's presidential endorsement was, at best, implied, and then only ... when?  I think we can trust Glenn Kessler to put the best possible face on it.

That is because Clinton already laid the groundwork in the last months of his presidency by trying to achieve a peace deal that would have resulted in a Palestinian state. In a speech on Jan. 7, 2001, two weeks before he left office, Clinton said he believed the conflict could not be resolved without creating "a sovereign, viable Palestinian state."
Neither George H.W. Bush (POTUS 1989-1993) nor any of his Republican predecessors ever so much as hinted at acceptance let alone advocacy of palestinian statehood.  W.J. Clinton (POTUS 1993-2001) danced around it and gave provisional lip service in the last weeks of his second term. 

So.  Does Mackey's assertion -- that since before October 1993, Republican and Democratic presidents have thrown their weight behind the creation of a palestinian state -- hold water?  It does not.  It looks like Mackey got this badly wrong.  Surprise.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn B. published on September 24, 2012 11:21 PM.

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