Allen West Interview: Florida Tea Party Favorite Talks About Islam and Donald Trump (Part 3)
New Times: You've shown a strong interest in Israel and Israeli politics. My understanding is that you do not favor the two-state solution.
Allen West: You mean creation of a Palestinian state? When has there ever been a Palestinian state?
Well, if you don't favor the two-state solution, do you know that the majority of Israelis do?
Well, I gotta tell you, I talk to a lot of Israelis; they're very concerned about this United Nations unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, which may come this summer.
The majority of Israelis and Palestinians want peace.
[laughs for the first time in interview] OK, OK, all right, you want peace? The peace that the Fogel family got when they were stabbed to death; to include a 3-month-old-child?  Peace means the dismantling of the Islamic terrorist groups that are operating all in and around the Israeli people. Now if all of a sudden, you create this Palestinian state, which has really never been in existence and has never had any currency; if you don't get them to reject some of the violent vitriolic charters that they have, such as with Hamas, all you're doing is creating a terrorist state.
So American Jews favor it, the majority of Israelis favor it...
Well, I don't know who you're talking to.
I'm reading polls in Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper.
There are lies, and then there are damned lies, and then there are statistics.
Your interest in Israel -- where does that come from? Does that just have to do with the fact that you have a lot of Jewish constituents?
No, no, that's part of my heart. That's part of believing in the Judeo-Christian heritage. That's part of growing up, going to church, and reading the great stories of the Bible, the Old Testament, and understanding that there is an inextricable relationship between the Holy Land, the land of Israel, and my Christian faith and also the United States of America.
And you don't worry that siding with the hardliners in Israel would anger Muslims throughout the world? You don't worry that that actually endangers the U.S.?
They already hate us... So you can continue to concede land or make concessions of peace, negotiate, but they still hate you for who you are and that you exist. And they continue to express that sentiment.
You were at a rally [recently] with Donald Trump.
[smiles] Donald Trump was at a rally with me.
If he asked you to be his VP candidate, what would you say?
That's up to God, that's up to the constituents, and that's up to my family. It's not about me.
So you're not ruling it out?
I never rule anything out.
But when Glenn Beck said you should run for president, you said no.
I'm not caught up in the cult of personality. I think the most important thing for me to be focused on is being the best possible congressional representative I can be, to prove myself as a capable legislator and also an American statesman.
So you're not looking at yourself as the next Republican candidate to run against Obama?
Trump has been questioning Obama's citizenship status. Do you support that?
I don't care where the president came from. I'm concerned about his policies and where they're taking this country.
What do you think of Sarah Palin?
I don't know, never met her.
This is something that came up at a town hall meeting a few weeks ago. You mentioned that you are offended by Planned Parenthood clinics in black neighborhoods.
I talked to some civic leaders up in Riviera Beach, and if you go and you look at some of the billboards up there, they really are concerned about the decimation that abortion has had on the black community. And I think that it has really taken a toll.
So you are offended by Planned Parenthood being in black neighborhoods because you believe they target black women?
Well, it is known to be the number-one provider of abortions in the United States of America. So I think that's a big concern for me.
And the fact that they provide health care, Pap smears, birth control, testing...
Well, that's fine. They have a $1.1 billion budget. And what I'm talking about is being a good steward of the American taxpayer. Three hundred 52 million dollars, the 33 percent of that budget that comes from the American taxpayer, I think that that could be better used elsewhere.
You've made some comments about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military, but among your constituents, there are gays and lesbians. You represent Oakland Park, and it's right next to Wilton Manors. Do you feel any duty to stand up for those citizens as well?
I feel a duty to protect the United States of America. And having been in the military for 22 years, I think that anyone who wants to question my ability to assess the armed services would, unless they spent that amount of time, would probably not be a very prudent thing. The military's about one very basic mission. That is winning wars of the United States of America. My concern... is that when you take the United States military, which takes the individual and their behavior and conforms it to the military, that's how you make a cohesive unit. Now, if we're saying we're gonna take the military and conform it to individual behaviors, then I am very concerned about the direction that we're going.
But no one is saying that members of the armed forces are allowed to have relationships with each other. This is just a matter of allowing them to say "Yes, I am gay" or "Yes, I am a lesbian."
But you know something? I served in the military, and I knew that there were gays and lesbians around me, and they really didn't care.
You've served with gays and lesbians, so why couldn't they just be open about it?
Because how it was, was absolutely fine.
Was it fine with them?
Well, you know what? The people that I knew, they did one simple thing: They volunteered to serve their military. And guess what? If that is the rule and it's a voluntary military, if you don't want to conform to that rule, is anyone twisting your arm to join the military? No.
12. Public opinion is a moving target. But according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a 2010 poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza found that 73 percent of respondents favored a peace agreement with Israel. A June 2009 poll, also published in Haaretz, found that 64 percent of Israeli Jews support a two-state solution. In March 2010, a joint poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that "the majority of Palestinians and Israelis prefer a two-state solution to the conflict," according to the Jerusalem Post.
13. Ruth and Udi Fogel, along with three of their children, were stabbed to death in their home in March in what the White House has labeled a terrorist attack by a Palestinian man. The Fogels were Israeli settlers living in the West Bank.
14. In 2009, Planned Parenthood had a $1.1 billion budget, of which $363 million came from federal grants. Abortions make up 3 percent of the organization's services. West voted for a proposal to end Planned Parenthood's federal funding in this year's budget, but that proposal was cut from the final congressional budget bill in April.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.