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Rick Santorum wants a one-state solution

The above video, where Rick Santorum provides his narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, really needs to be seen to be believed. It’s from November, but has only been dredged up from the dark recesses of the Internet now because Santorum appears poised to finish strong in tonight’s Iowa caucuses. Santorum is debating with a young ...

The above video, where Rick Santorum provides his narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, really needs to be seen to be believed. It’s from November, but has only been dredged up from the dark recesses of the Internet now because Santorum appears poised to finish strong in tonight’s Iowa caucuses.

Santorum is debating with a young voter, laying out his case why Israel should not dismantle its settlements in the West Bank.  "All the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians," he says. "There is no ‘Palestinian.’"

This echoes Newt Gingrich’s contention in December that Palestinians are an "invented" people — but, for my money, Santorum’s comments are worse. Historical revisionism in the service of political gain has been a staple of international affairs since time immemorial. But what Santorum is suggesting is actually profoundly damaging to U.S. and Israeli interests: If the 3 million people of the West Bank are Israeli citizens, they have the right to vote, and will fundamentally reorder the Israeli government. That’s a prospect the Israelis themselves have been trying to avoid, and the reason why they have never annexed the West Bank. Too bad nobody ever told Rick Santorum.

David Kenner is the Middle East editor at Foreign Policy. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been with FP since 2009 (a long time, he knows). He worked for FP previously in Cairo, where he covered the early days of the Arab Spring, and before that in Washington. He has attended Georgetown University and the American University of Beirut and has reported from Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. @davidkenner

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