Mitt Romney: A true friend of Israel

Obama, on the other hand, has been anything but resolute in his support for Israel since he was elected in 2008.

July 29, 2012 22:22
2 minute read.
Mitt Romney in Jerusalem.

Mitt Romney pamphlet in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The American presidential elections are upon us, and as with every four-year cycle, each candidate and both parties try to convince voters in the US that they are the true pro-Israel candidate.

In this election, those who want what is truly best for Israel are presented with a starker choice than usual. On one hand, there is Gov.

Mitt Romney, who is taking the time to visit us at the moment, and who time and again has spoken out strongly for Israel’s rights to safeguard our own interests.

On the other hand, incumbent candidate US President Barack Obama has all but adopted the Palestinian negotiation position and given Israel the cold shoulder on every possible occasion.

Romney has decided to visit us just three short months before the most important election of his life.

By coming here, Romney is indicating to his Israeli friends his deep commitment to the State of Israel and the importance that he places on his friendship with the Jewish people.

Not only is the governor taking the time to visit the Jewish state in the midst of his campaign, but he has also stated repeatedly that should he win the presidency, his first official trip abroad would be to Israel. It is these types of pledges – along with his steadfast statements affirming Israel’s right to defend itself from all threats, both near and far – that is convincing so many Democratic pro-Israel voters to switch sides and vote for the Republican candidate in the upcoming election.

Obama, on the other hand, has been anything but resolute in his support for Israel since he was elected in 2008. In his now infamous Cairo Speech, the president put the onus of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict squarely on the shoulders of what was once called America’s only true ally in the Middle East.

When later pressuring Israel into the ill-advised construction freeze, Obama was the main reason that for the first time since the establishments of the State of Israel, that Jews were outlawed from building homes in their historic homeland.

At the same time, it was considered completely legitimate for the Palestinians to continue building (legally and illegally) and creating their “facts on the ground” throughout Judea and Samaria.

To add insult to injury, Obama was able to find the time to visit many of Israel’s neighbors during his first term – including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey – but he could not fit a quick stop to Israel into his schedule to discuss these new policies with his Israeli counterparts.

It is my belief that the State of Israel should not be involved in our allies’ elections. We should, however, be ready to cooperate with any candidate who supports our cause.

There are too many enemies in our region and around the world who threaten our very existence to ignore such friends as the United States.

That being said, we do have the right to examine each candidate for who they truly are, and to state clearly when one is a greater friend of Israel than the other.

Welcome to Israel, Gov. Romney!

The writer is Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and chairman of World Likud.

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