Rep. Walsh's Stance On U.S. As "Honest Broker" In Middle East Lasts 38 Seconds

September 01, 2011 12:01 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) was furious when House ethics rules prevented him from attending Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" rally in Jerusalem last month, but that did not stop Walsh from taking a trip to the Middle East that overlapped with the right-wing radio host's event. Now, Walsh is back in the U.S. and eager to show off what he learned.

In an interview on WTTW Chicago last night, Walsh complained that President Obama thinks the Palestinians are victims, calling him "the first president in my lifetime" who is not "an honest broker" in the region. However, Walsh contradicted himself moments later, declaring that the U.S. should "stop being an honest broker" between the Israelis and Palestinians.

WALSH: He's the first president that I can remember who isn't even almost an honest broker between two sides. I believe his sympathies lie with the Palestinians. You talk about what I learned. Here's one thing I learned: Our support for Israel has to be as strong as it can be, and you're going to see support in Congress make up for what we believe is the lack of support in the White House.

HOST: You also said that you are pro-Israel first, and pro-peace second. What do you mean by that?

WALSH: Absolutely. We need to change the dynamic. Look, Israel is dealing with a side that doesn't even acknowledge its right to exist. It's dealing with a side that's teaching its young people to hate Israel. The only way that we're going to change that is for the U.S. to no longer be an honest broker. We need to show the world that we're on the side of Israel. 


This is not the first time Walsh has demonstrated his ignorance about the Middle East. In the aftermath of the contrived controversy over Obama's call for negotiations "based on the 1967 lines," Walsh infamously condemned the Jewish community's lack of outrage. "[M]ost Jewish Americans are liberal," he wrote, concluding that "too many American Jews aren't as pro-Israel as they should be."

Video by Alan Pyke