NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The United Nations confrontation over Palestinian statehood became a major issue in the U.S. presidential race on Tuesday.
Leading GOP contender Rick Perry accused President Barack Obama of appeasing terrorists and betraying Israel, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
It was an in-your-face attack on the president. Perry met with New York Jewish leaders to blame the president for the current confrontation at the UN over Palestinian statehood.
“We would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn’t naive, arrogant, misguided and dangerous,” Perry said.
To put an exclamation point on his anger, Perry stood with newly elected Congressman Bob Turner, whose election was widely regarded as a referendum on the Obama administration, on both the economy and Israel.
“The Obama policy of moral equivalency, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and the Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult,” Perry said.
The Perry attack came as the president’s poll numbers reached a new low. His approval rating fell to 39 percent — a 5-point drop in a month – and 52 percent disapprove of the job he is doing.
And while the president met with various world leaders while in New York for the UN summit it was left to White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to tell reporters the president intended to be tough on the Palestinians and not allow President Mahmoud Abbas to win statehood through and end run at the world body.
“At the end of the day peace is going to have to be made between the parties, that it can’t be imposed on the outside, that it can’t be accomplished through actions at the United Nations,” Rhodes said.
And if Abbas insisted on taking a statehood request to the Security Council, “We would veto any actions in the Security Council,” Rhodes said.
One local Palestinian leader said if that does indeed happen it will cement a growing belief.
“I think the Palestinian response to an American veto is, you know, we were right. We were right in going to the United Nations because the U.S. really doesn’t want us to be a state,” CAIR New York President Zead Ramadan told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, another Republican presidential contender went after the president over his handling of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann called upon the president to stop the man she labeled a “deadly dictator” from coming to the UN this year.
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