Republicans talk tough on Iran, vie for Jewish vote

US presidential candidates meet Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, slamming Obama's soft support for Israel.

By REUTERS
December 7, 2011 19:53
2 minute read.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidates rattled sabers against Iran and skewered President Barack Obama for being soft in his support for Israel on Wednesday as they vied for the backing of Jewish Republicans.

One by one, the major contenders for the Republican nomination to face the Democratic president in 2012 told the Republican Jewish Coalition they would strengthen ties with Israel and not let Iran develop a nuclear weapon.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Romney vows to visit Israel first if elected
Republican candidates vow to stop Iran nuclear bomb

Candidates took time out from criss-crossing Iowa, New Hampshire and other early voting states to seek Jewish support.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a front-running candidate, said "covert and overt" activities are needed to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Tehran denies trying to build a nuclear bomb but most of the world is suspicious.

"Ultimately, regime change is what's going to be necessary," said Romney, who received a standing ovation from the several hundred participants in the audience.

Former US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who is trying to bite into Romney's lead in the key early state of New Hampshire, was equally tough.



"If you can't live with a nuclear Iran, and I can't, then you have to say all options are on the table," said Huntsman.

And former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, hoping to do well in Iowa, said: "I'd like to think we had something to do with" a recent explosion at a suspected Iranian missile site.

Jewish Americans traditionally support Democratic candidates, but Republicans hope to make headway in this critical voting bloc by targeting Obama's policy of pressuring Israel to make key compromises in the decades-old Middle East dispute with the Palestinians.

Obama angered the Israelis last May when he embraced a goal long sought by the Palestinians: that the state they seek in the \West Bank and Gaza Strip should largely be drawn along lines that existed before the 1967 war in which Israel captured those territories and east Jerusalem.

A theme throughout the speeches was the Republican desire to strengthen the US commitment to Israel and ensure it remains a democratic bulwark in an unstable region threatened by the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"I will travel to Israel on my first foreign trip. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel's existence as a Jewish state. I want the world to know that the bonds between Israel and the United States are unshakable," Romney said.

Related Content

August 14, 2018
China confirms: Millions of Uighur Muslims are in internment camps

By REUTERS