Michele Bachmann described an "unequivocal and unchanging" commitment to Israel's security and prosperity, saying she saw no present path to Palestinian statehood and pledging to thwart calls for Palestinians refugees to return to Israel.
"I do not see presently that there is a road to statehood, with the current state of affairs," Bachmann said Wednesday at a Republican Jewish Coalition forum. "There would need to be radical changes afoot."
Bachmann said there would be "no right of return to Israel for Palestinian so-called refugees," referring to those who fled to other nations around the time of Israel's independence in 1948. There are 5 million Palestinian refugees dispersed throughout the Middle East and elsewhere, according to the United Nations — which Bachmann called the most overrated organization in the world. More than 1.4 million live in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories.
She also vowed never to support a divided Jerusalem. Israel annexed east Jerusalem along with the West Bank after it captured it from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War. But Palestinians maintain a claim to that part of the city and hope to build the capital of a future state there.
"Our policy [under Obama] has confused engagement with appeasement and it has inspired Israel's enemies," Bachmann said. "The Palestinians must also recognize Israel's right to exist, which they have not."