Santorum says all Palestinians are Israelis

In a campaign stop in Iowa, Republican presidential hopeful says call the people "who live in the West Bank are Israelis."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 22, 2011 13:30
1 minute read.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum

rick santorum constipated 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum denied the existence of Palestinians, claiming them as citizens of Israel during a campaign stop on Friday.

"All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they're not Palestinians," the former Pennsylvania Senator told a participant at an Iowa campaign event.

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During an exchange with the participant over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Santorum offered New Mexico and Texas as comparison points for the West Bank, noting that they were all won in wars.

Santorum also declared all Iranian nuclear scientists as enemy combatants.  "Nuclear scientists who work on this program, particularly if they come from foreign countries into that, they will be seen as enemy combatants. They will be people who are threats to the United States just like your garden variety terrorist," he said.

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Santorum has raised eyebrows in the past for his outspoken, sometimes over-the-top support of Israel and hawkishness on its enemy Iran. In a November 10 speech, he said of the Islamic Republic that, "A country that is developing a weapon of mass destruction to use it or destroy another country must be stopped in a preemptive strike."



In the most recent Gallup Poll, Santorum came near the bottom of the pack in Republican primaries, eking in at only 2 percent. Santorum lost his 2006 Senate reelection bid.

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