McCain: 'Hands Off' Mideast Peace

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - According to a recent survey conducted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Los Angeles branch, Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain would opt for a hands-off policy in the Middle East peace process.

Results of the 10-question survey released Tuesday indicates that Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would follow the Bush administration's close involvement in the process.

"When I am president, I will make a personal commitment to an ongoing effort by the United States to help Israel and the Palestinians achieve the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security," Obama stated. "We should be an active partner, lending support, offering ideas and bolstering agreements that the parties reach," he said, sounding much like President Bush.

Clinton's response was nearly the same.

"I believe that US diplomacy is critical to resolving this conflict, and we must engage in regional diplomacy to gain Arab support for a Palestinian leadership that is committed to peace," she said. "The US government's role is to support Israel as it makes the tough choices for peace and that the final status issues should be negotiated by the parties themselves, with the United States playing a facilitating role," Clinton said.

McCain, on the other hand, while espousing a two-state solution, downplayed US involvement in the process.

"Real peace won't be achieved so long as the Hamas government refuses to renounce suicide bombings and other terrorist acts or even acknowledge Israel's right to exist. As recent history unfortunately demonstrates, the Palestinians are not now able to make the compromises necessary for lasting peace," McCain said.

"I would work to further isolate the enemies of Israel, such as Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezollah," he said.

Regarding Iran, both Obama and Clinton advocate dialogue with Iran, though the two have slightly different approaches.

"I believe the Bush administration's policy of refusing to talk to our adversaries has been very damaging to our security," Clinton said. "We should pursue the kind of carrot-and-stick diplomacy with Iran that has been effective with North Korea and Libya," she said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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