Romney Takes Tough Stance in Israel

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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On Sunday Mitt Romney took the fight for the American Jewish (and Evangelical) vote to Israel, a country most American Jews have never visited. His target—a large and convenient one—was Barack Obama’s record of behavior toward the Jewish state.

Even so, there’s no possibility that Romney will get most of the Jewish vote in November, something no Republican presidential candidate has ever done. But a Gallup poll released Friday has American Jewish support for Obama slipping from 78% in 2008 to 68% at present, and Romney—along with his concerns about shoring up his stature with the Evangelicals—hopes to woo enough Jewish voters, particularly in swing states like Florida and Ohio, to make a difference in November.

Even before arriving, Romney told Israeli media that as president he would treat Israel publicly much better than Obama has. As he said to the daily Israel Hayom:

I would treat Israel like the friend and ally it is…. And if there were places where we disagree, I would hold these disagreements in private conversations, not in public forums. I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world. I believe that he should have mentioned instead the thousands of rockets that are being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

And it was not just a matter, he went on to say, of propriety, but also of policy, and of respecting Israel’s autonomy as a country:

The president has also spoken of returning to 1967 borders—they are indefensible. And acting as a negotiator and usurping the primary role played by Israel in negotiating for its own future is not the right course for America to take.

Asked about Iran, Romney replied that he was

commit[ted] to take whatever action is necessary to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear. A nuclear Iran is a threat to America and to the world….

Iran is closer to nuclearization than it was when President Obama took office. It is hard to feel that the events of the last three and a half years have strengthened America’s posture and promoted the prospects of peace.

On that score Romney was well received in Israel on Sunday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with whom he has a personal friendship going back to the 1970s when they both worked for the Boston Consulting Group. “I heard some of your remarks,” Netanyahu told the candidate,

and you said that the greatest danger facing the world is the ayatollah regime possessing nuclear weapons capability. Mitt, I couldn’t agree with you more, and I think it is important to do everything in our power to prevent the ayatollahs from possessing that capability. We have to be honest and say that all the diplomacy and sanctions…so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota.

No mention of Obama by name there, but again, it hardly constitutes praise for his policy.

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  • mah29001

    If Mittens claims to be as tough as he is on Israel, why is his friend John McCain supporting the Islamic radicals in Syria, whom are part of the "opposition"?

    • Looking4Sanity

      Slander by association much?

    • kafir4life

      allahu snackbar, mah, and a happy ramadamadingdong to ya!
      Are you familiar with President Stinky's (-bo) stance on Israel and the middle east? What's the coward's stance on Syria? Anybody know? He's been sticking his finger in Moochie, and checking to see what way the wind is blowing before he decides.

      • mah29001

        Where did I say I embraced Obama? Romney is associating himself with the Republican establishment whom supported John McCain who backs Syrian Islamic Jihadis in Syria, proving the Republicans are not even for Israel as much as the Democrats are.

    • mlcblog

      I am not aware of any particular friendship between Romney and McCain. What are you talking about?

    • guest

      McCain was against muslim brotherhood before. May be he does not even remember why he was against them before? Sounds like our boy McCain is a little against America. Being for Islam is being Against America, isn't it?

  • ajmacdonaldjr

    Are you kidding me? Destroy the Jewish state and subjugate the West? "Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” ~ President George Washington 1796

  • Looking4Sanity

    "A Gallup survey of Jewish voters released Friday showed Obama with a 68-25 edge over Romney."

    OK, people. What's wrong with this picture?

    • Dr. John

      Most American Jews are highly secular liberals, distant from both authentic Jewish religion and authentic Jewish nationality. They may say in polls that they’re “attached” to Israel, but most American Jews of this ilk, as the article mentions, have never even visited it. However, if Mitt can get even one-third of American Jews to vote for him, it will be an achievement that could help him. In 1980, Reagan–the highest total ever for a Republican presidential candidate–got 40% of the Jewish vote. Strangely, Carter seemed to annoy them more than Obama has. It doesn’t make much sense, but many of today’s Jews–again, whatever they say in polls–are more distant from Israel than most American Jews were back then.

      • Looking4Sanity

        Interesting. If they are mostly secular, I wouldn't think shared bonds of oppression would be an issue. I hate to buy into stereotypes, but might the attraction to Obama have something to do with the prospect of getting something for “nothing”? Even if it were true, that is hardly something unique to the Jewish community. It seems to be a trait shared by all liberals.

    • BS77

      As Michael Savage said, "Liberalism is a mental disorder" Most liberals would vote for a rotten log if it ran as a Democrat.

    • CHOI

      "OK, people. What's wrong with this picture? "
      For one,it's NOT TRUE.
      Completely UNTRUE.
      Gallup has either shortened its pencil,is polling in the WRONG places,or Jewish voters,if properly identified, are NOT telling a pollster how they feel,especially about voting AGAINST the Democrats.
      I"ll bet Obama's private polling tells something else and that's WHY they're worried.

      • Looking4Sanity

        I would like to believe you, but exit polling has shown time after time that it IS true. Even Reagan only pulled 40% of the Jewish vote…and that was an unimaginable accomplishment. If you are basing your theory on your own experiences, have you ever considered the possibility that the people you're talking to have been lying to YOU? That is at least as likely as the explanation you've put forward.

    • Reason_For_Life

      It shows that a high IQ is no guarantee that a person is not an idiot.

      I wonder how many times you could hear a German Jew in 1935 say "Yeah, yeah, I heard Hitler's speech but what do you think that Hitler's actually going to do? Put us all in camps?"

      Jews have always tended to vote left/progressive. They really can't imagine a problem on the left.

      • Looking4Sanity

        That's probably because the Left never acknowledges a problem unless it's with the Right. They actually believe they're perfect in every way. That must be very comforting…even though common sense and statistics both scream that it is an impossibility.

  • Chezwick

    Whatever Romney's intentions are vis-a-vis Iran, I hope his campaign focuses on domestic issues. The American public is still war weary….and rhetorically pounding the drums of war could very well alienate potential supporters in the middle of the political spectrum. Besides, that segment of the populace that supports military action against Iran is largely in the Republican camp anyway.

    Obama's vulnerability is the economy and the debt. That's what Romney would be wise to focus on. Deal with Iran AFTER the election, when he'll have the wherewithal to do so. Running Barry out of Washington is an imperative that transcends all others.

    • Stephen_Brady

      I agree with you, Chez, Attack Obama on the economy and debt, where's he exceptionally vulnerable.

      • Kufar Dawg

        I tried that tactic w/a zero supporter. He mentioned the huge debt Dubya had run up, but when I told him Obama he had tripled the national debt (or is more like quintupled?) he had nothing to say except to express his support for Obama.

  • Amused

    Romney made a promise , that no American President thusfar has been able [or willing ] to keep . Recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and move the embassy there .Not that , that should be the main issue of the election but to go there as Romney just did and make that statement ….? Will he deliver if elected ? Afterall it's already passed in Congress since 1995 .

    • Looking4Sanity

      Why aren't you asking why Obama hasn't done it already? Inconvenient question?

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Just one simple thing to do,vote for Mitt,because the other option,B.H.O. is sh*t.

  • Marty

    What a refreshing change from the last three and 1/2 unpleasant years of misrule by islamophiles. The best part is that there are 150,000 American Jewish voters residing in Israel who will overwhelmingly vote for Romney and could make the difference in two or three key states. If Romney wins and appoints John Bolton as secretary of state Israel would finally have an ally in the United States. Unlike the current administration, both of these gentlemen seem to know where Israel's capital city is located. That's a good start.

    • Germal

      How many Presidential candidates have said that until they got voted into office ? It seems that the Republican candidates rave on about how Jerusalem should be the official capital of Israel until they get elected. And then they all have a convenient loss of memory.

    • Asher

      Can you imagine tiny Israel surrounded by enemies and the President of the United States supporting Islamic "Regimes and wanting Israel out of the picture, just like Ahmadinejad said…Their days are numbered! What a welcome change could be in the works. Romney shows true leadership…and he is also savvy…not bad tempered and anti-semetic like Obama.

  • Steve Chavez

    How BAD does it have to get for ISRAEL for AMERICAN JEWS to realize that Obama is an enemy of Israel and a friend of Muslim radicals, Muslim Brotherhood, and supporter of terrorist groups like HIS BASE who organize Flotillas like the "Audacity of Hope" which is a reference to him?

    WAKE UP AMERICAN JEWS! You don't have to change Parties but you must change your vote!

    • mlcblog

      LIberalism is a form of mental disorder. Unable to process reality. Living in idealism of an ethereal nature. Disappointing to me, as these are believed to be God's chosen people and are so talented and able. Read the Old Testament in the Christian Bible. They are even called stiff-necked (stubborn and unbowing to a loving God) by the Lord himself. Confident in their errors.

    • CHOI

      "WAKE UP AMERICAN JEWS! You don't have to change Parties but you must change your vote! "

      Right on the mark,Steve.
      If this generational devotion to a Party NAME is a problem for some people,then they should just consider themselves" Democrats for Romney", or "Democrats AGAINST Obama".

  • Western Sspirit

    Romney's Mormanism will turn many evangelical Christian's off but I hope not many. Certainly his support of Israel will go a long way toward their support for him.

    I don't know what Morman's believe but they seem to have the same moral standards I do so this is one evangelical Christian who will vote for him.

  • mrbean

    In 2010, Obama shamed and humiliated the Jewish Prime Minister of Israel, while demanding we respect sharia and Islam. Jewish self-defense against virulent, genocidal Islamic anti-Semitism repels the leader of the free world. For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was unheard of. Left to talk among themselves, Mr Netanyahu and his aides retreated to the Roosevelt Room. He returned to Israel dangerously isolated after what Israeli media have called a White House ambush for which Obama planned and is largely to blame. Obama is an anti semite just like his crackpot mentor Jerimiah Wright.

  • Asher

    The Bottom line is that Obama is no friend to Israel…His policies and his actions show it! Who the Jews decide to vote for could mean peace or war…they need to quit voting for their Destroyers and start applying common sense over politics, or for that matter voting for a party that is not contributing to their livelihood.

    • CHOI

      Asher is correct.
      Time to stop voting for their grandparents' Democratic Precinct Captain.
      The 1930's-1980's are OVER!
      Today's Democratic Party has been SHANGHIED by the FAR-LEFT "Progressive" Anti-American Jew-Haters.
      There is NOW,the American Party,the GOP,and the Anti-American Party,the Democrats.

  • flowerknife_us

    Obama doesn't want to see a war start with his friends while he is in office. If it looks like he will win re-election, things will drag along until he can fold up America like an unwanted Bust of Churchill.

    If he looks like or actually does lose, then poor Mitt will be conducting armed conflict as a measure of last resort. Unless he goes soft and belly up.

    Clinton did little to address the growing problem with Islamic fundamentalism. His Party allowed the next Administration to involve itself when things became acute, yet pulled the Rug of support in short order. Now our current President is actively putting in power the same Ideology the previous Administration went to war against.

    So, do we need wonder what is in store for America if our current occupant of the White House is NOT re-elected?