Saturday, June 16, 2012

Romney's Israel policy unveiled

From the LA Times report:
In hawkish remarks that drew cheers from an audience of religious conservatives, Mitt Romney accused President Obama on Saturday of being more afraid that Israel might attack Iran than that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon.

The Republican presidential candidate, who frequently attacks the administration for failing to back Israel’s government more aggressively, ratcheted up his criticism a notch. He responded with ridicule when asked what he would do, if elected, to strengthen U.S. relations with the Jewish state. 
“I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite,” Romney said, to laughter and applause from members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an evangelical Christian political organization.
Hmm, let's just see how that works out...
  • June 2012: Candidate Romney, speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), warns that America's commitment to Israel "could be shaken".
  • July 2012: Visiting Jerusalem, Willard Mitt Romney declines to leave customary prayer note at the Western Wall; cites fears that the contents could be leaked to Israeli journalists, compromising US security. It remains unknown whether he baptized any deceased citizens of the beleaguered little country during his trip.
  • May 2013: President Romney refuses to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, saying he lacks confidence in two-state solution; remarks, "Palestinians can just be more violent if they feel the need, and Israel can keep building those settlements."
  • September 2013: President Romney, in his first meeting since taking office with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas,  advises them not to rush into peace talks: "Relax, there's no hurry."
  • June 2014: Following the Israeli raid on a flotilla of Turkish boats bringing aid to the besieged Gaza territory, President Romney passes up calling Turkish prime minister Erdogan to express regret for the deaths of Turkish citizens, declares that the US in "not interested in a credible, impartial and transparent investigation of the facts surrounding this tragedy."
  • May 2015: President Romney and Prime Minister Netanyahu announce that there are now "no differences between them." In a major foreign policy speech at the state department, Romney said, "I don't think anything really important is going on in the Middle East anyway, a revolution here and there..."
  • February 2016: The US is not cooperating with Israel to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, says President Romney. "We just don't feel it's really our business," he explained. "If Prime Minister Netanyahu thinks it's that big a deal, I'm sure he can take care of it."
I'm a little concerned about the way the campaign is developing. Doesn't he think he might alienate the human vote?

I concocted this crude but helpful gloss on Romney's remarks using the Israel-Obama timeline at
Keeping to the treif and narrow. From AllJewishLinks.

And just for fun, here's this golden oldie from the Washington Post Fact Checker:
The Hill amusingly said that in the primary’s waning hours, Gingrich threw the “kosher kitchen sink” at Romney. While we are not sure what this claim says about Romney’s understanding of religious liberty, it turns out that in 2003 he did indeed veto $600,000 in spending to run Massachusetts’s eight kosher nursing home facilities.
Romney’s  campaign said he was practicing fiscal restraint in a time of fiscal crisis, but his veto was quickly overridden by an unanimous vote in the House and an overwhelming vote in the state Senate after tales emerged of people in their 80s and 90s faced with having to leave their homes or break kosher tenets for the first time in their lives.  The New York Post resurrected this story in an article last week.
(Mostly cross-posted at Daily Kos.)

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