By Hilary Leila Krieger, JPost Correspondent in Washington
Former US House speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday blasted the Obama administration for setting itself on a collision course with Israel and endangering the Jewish state, ahead of his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
â€œThey are systematically setting up the most decisive confrontation that weâ€™ve ever seen,â€ the leading Republican politician told The Jerusalem Post, referring to news reports about the administrationâ€™ s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
â€œThereâ€™s almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world,â€ he said, speaking to the Post ahead of his speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committeeâ€™s annual conference.
He called US President Barack Obamaâ€™s program of engagement on Iran a â€œfantasy,â€ and his Middle East policies â€œvery dangerous for Israel.â€ He summed up Obamaâ€™s approach as â€œthe clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter.â€
Instead, he maintained, the US should be sending the message to Israel that â€œwe are for the survival of Israelâ€ and that â€œwe are not going to tolerate Iran getting nuclear weapons.â€
He added that creating prosperity among Palestinians was important, and that the US should be helping their leaders grow their society and crowd out Hamas.
The Obama administration has also been trying to support the Fatah party as it shuns Hamas, and is looking to restart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians in part to accomplish that end. The US government has also been focusing on engaging Iran to try to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons, holding out the possibility of more economic sanctions should the diplomatic process fail.
Gingrich is touted as a possible Republican candidate in the next presidential campaign.