Palin: Obama Wrong on Israeli, Afghan Policy

Fmr. Gov tells Barbara Walters Obama has it wrong on economy, Afghan policy.

November 17, 2009, 4:27 PM

Nov. 17, 2009— -- In an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters, Sarah Palin, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, gave her policy recommendations, weighing in on issues in the Middle East, U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and more.

Palin, whose book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," hit bookshelves today, took aim at the Obama administration's stance on Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

"I disagree with the Obama administration on that," Palin told Walters. "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don't think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand."

Watch Barbara Walters' interview with Sarah Palin tonight on "Nightline," Wednesday on "Good Morning America" and Friday on "20/20."

As for another hot-button issue -- Afghanistan -- where 68,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed, Palin said the president should follow the advice of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

"To listen to McChrystal, to listen to the appointee that President Obama asked for, the advice from," she said. "McChrystal gave the president the advice and said, 'We need essentially a surge strategy in Afghanistan, so that we can win in Afghanistan. And that means more resources, more troops there.' It frustrates me and frightens me -- and many Americans -- that President Obama is dithering around with the decision in Afghanistan."

Obama is deciding on a strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Four options have been submitted to the president, who, along with his war council, is assessing troop levels and the cost. The most ambitious strategy, from McChrystal, would send 40,000 more troops. According to ABC News' Jake Tapper, Obama pushed the generals to elaborate on how and when the exchange of responsibility could take place from U.S. troops to the Afghans.

Though the two don't have much in common in terms of policy, Palin said the ultimate goal for the United States in Afghanistan should be to turn responsibility over to the Afghan government and people.

"The people there, the government there, should be able to take over and to have a more peaceful existence there for the people who live there -- without American interference, if you will," she said.

Sarah Palin: How to Fix Unemployment

To address the highest unemployment levels since 1983, Palin said she would cut taxes.

"I would start cutting taxes and allowing our small businesses to keep more of what they are earning, more of what they are producing, more of what they own and earn so that they could start reinvesting in their businesses and expand and hire more people," she told Walters. "Not punishing them by forcing health care reform down their throats; by forcing an energy policy down their throats that ultimately will tax them more and cost them more to stay in business. Those are backassward ways of trying to fix the economy."

"You do have a way with words," Walters replied.

"I call it like I see it," she said.

In September 2008, Palin told ABC News' Charles Gibson in an exclusive interview, that there is an island in Alaska where one can see Russia and that this strategic proximity was part of her foreign policy experience.

"They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska," Palin told Gibson.

Her response to that question came back to haunt her in interviews and with Tina Fey's iconic portrayal of her on "Saturday Night Live."

But Palin told Walters that she never said "I can see Russia from my house" and explained why she still feels Alaska's proximity to Russia is important.

"It's very significant. And we are a gatekeeper for the continent. So for national security reasons, and for energy independence and resource development reasons, Alaska should be recognized for its strategic location on the globe," she told Walters.

Palin on President Obama

The former governor wouldn't directly address the burning question of whether she wants to be president or if she would make a run in 2012, but she did not completely close that door, either.

"That certainly isn't on my radar screen right now," said Palin. "[But] when you consider some of the ordinary turning into extraordinary events that have happened in my life, I am not one to predict what will happen in a few years."

Sarah Palin discusses her political future and Obama's presidency with Barbara Walters. Read more here.

Palin said that on a scale of one to 10, she would give the president a mere four for his job performance.

"There are a lot of decisions being made that I -- and probably the majority of Americans -- are not impressed with right now," Palin said. "I think our economy is not being put on the right track, because we're strayed too far from, fundamentally, from free enterprise principles that built our country. And I question, too, some of the dithering, and hesitation with some of our national security questions that have got to be answered for our country. ... So, a four."

Sarah Palin discusses her family with Barbara Walters. Read more here.

ABC News' Jake Tapper contributed to this report.