Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says nuclear weapons in the Middle East is a "good thing" -- as long as Israel is the only country that has them. An intrepid young reporter cornered the candidate at a restaurant in Iowa Friday and
November 18, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says nuclear weapons in the Middle East is a "good thing" -- as long as Israel is the only country that has them.

An intrepid young reporter cornered the candidate at a restaurant in Iowa Friday and asked him about his call to assassinate scientists from Iran and other foreign countries.

"If they come from foreign countries, they will be seen as enemy combatants," Santorum explained.

"Would you like to see a nuclear free Middle East?" the reporter pressed.

"No!" Santorum exclaimed. "I think Israel having a nuclear weapon is a good thing. Even though Israel has never said they have one, it is widely believed that they do have one."

"But I think that's part of the problem why these other regimes [in the Middle East] want to have one," the reporter noted.

"No, it's not," Santorum disagreed. "No one believes Israel is going to attack any Arab country. I mean, it would be suicide to do so. ... That's not why Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. It's not for defensive purposes."

In 1967, Israel launched a surprise attack on the Egyptian Air Force, starting the the "Six Day War." Israel has always said the preemptive attack was defensive in nature.

The former Pennsylvania senator went on to opine that Palestinians did not deserve their own country for the same reason that the U.S. should not "give Texas back to Mexico."

"Bottom line is that is legitimately Israeli country," he insisted. "All the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis. They are not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian. This is Israeli land."

The reporter challenged Santorum's assertions by noting that the Palestinians are not accorded the same rights as Israeli citizens.

"They cannot use the same roads. They have to go through checkpoints. So, do you think they should have the same rights [as Israelis]?" he wondered.

"The people of Israel have passed laws based on the conduct of the people there," Santorum replied. "That's an unfortunate situation. I wish it wasn't occurring. It's one that was brought on by the people and the activity that they conducted."

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