Romney: Israel does not warrant public warnings

In AJC questionnaire, Republican presidential candidate pledges to support Israel as it weighs "decisions of war and peace."

Romney, Obama point at eachother during debate 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Romney, Obama point at eachother during debate 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pledged not to issue “public warnings” to Israel as part of the Middle East policy outlined Friday in response to questions posed by the American Jewish Committee.
Both Romney and US President Barack Obama completed the questionnaire, which was posted on the AJC website.
“I do not believe that we should be issuing public warnings that create distance between the United States and Israel,” Romney wrote. “Israel does not need public lectures about how to weigh decisions of war and peace. It needs our support.”
At several points during the Obama administration, senior US officials have spoken of the dire consequences that could result from an Israeli attack on Iran. The instances, widely interpreted as a US warning for Israel not to strike Tehran, have caused tension in the relationship between the two countries.
In his responses, Romney did not mention a commitment to a Palestinian state, although neither did the AJC – directly – ask whether each candidate endorsed the concept.
Obama, in contrast, wrote that “the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own.”
At the same time, the incumbent stressed that peace can only be achieved by decisions made by the parties themselves, and that unilateral steps are not the way to get there.
Concerning the upheavals in the Arab world and how that would affect US aid, Obama warned that “it will be many years before the story of the Arab Spring is complete.” But while assistance to Egypt would continue during that time, he said the new government must uphold the peace treaty with Israel and transition to democracy.
Romney didn’t directly answer the AJC’s question about whether aid might be affected. Instead, he wrote generally that “my administration would support groups and governments seeking to advance the values of representative government, economic opportunity and human rights and oppose any extension of Iranian or jihadist influence.”