Israel Political Brief July 24, 2012: GOP Leaders: President Barack Obama’s Announcing He Will Visit Israel in Second Presidential Term Comes 4 Years Too Late



GOP Leaders: Obama Announcement Comes 4 Years Too Late

Republican leaders have criticized an announcement made Monday that if President Obama were to get re-elected, he would visit Israel.
Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Republican leaders have sharply criticized an announcement made Monday that if President Obama were to get re-elected to serve a second term in office, he would visit Israel.

“President Obama’s promise to visit Israel in his second term comes four years too late, and is emblematic of the lack of close coordination with Israel Candidate Obama led us to expect in 2008,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement released by the Mitt Romney campaign.

“It also does not make up for the many shortcomings of his Middle East policy, ranging from the fact that Iran continues to race forward with its nuclear weapons program to his administration’s haplessness in the face of Syria’s support of terrorism, threats to use weapons of mass destruction and support of instability in the region,” he said, according to the statement….

“Our relationship with Israel should be a priority, not a distraction. President Obama has found time to visit dozens of other nations – including some near to Israel in the Middle East – and his treatment of our closest ally in the region has been profoundly disappointing,” he said.

Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton said in an interview with WABC Radio on Monday that, “Obama has been in office three and a half years, and he has had time to do more fundraisers than any other first-term American president, has probably played more rounds of golf than any other president since Dwight Eisenhower, and yet he has not had time to fit into his busy schedule even one trip to Israel.”

Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a backer of Republican Mitt Romney and the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also lashed out against President Obama for failing to visit Israel during his first term.

“Next week, Mitt Romney is traveling to Israel for the fourth time. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has yet to visit Israel as President, even as he has found time to visit numerous other countries around the world, including in the Middle East. We can only speculate about why the President has failed to visit the capital of our closest ally in the region, but we don’t need to speculate about the timing of the latest hint from the White House that President Obama will travel to Israel in his second term.

“It’s politically inspired, coming as it does only days before Mitt Romney heads off to Jerusalem.  One should not play political games with U.S. foreign policy, particularly at a moment when the Middle East is a tinderbox,” said Ros-Lehtinen.

Israel Political Brief May 14, 2012: GOP Urges Mitt Romney to ‘Shame’ President Obama by Visiting Israel



GOP Urges Romney to ‘Shame’ Obama by Visiting Israel

Republican Congressmen urge Romney to hurry up and visit Israel to ”shame” Obama, who has not visited as president.

Source: Israel National News, 5-14-12

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Republican Congressmen are urging Mitt Romney to hurry up and visit Israel to ”shame” President Barack Obama, who has not visited as president, according to the Washington-based The Hill website.

“It would be a good visit for him,” said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions.

President Obama visited Israel, highlighted by praying at the Western Wall, during his 2008 campaign. He has hinted that he will come again this year before the November elections, but he may face a problem concerning the Western Wall in the wake of his acceptance of the Palestinian Authority’s demands for sovereignty over all areas, including the Western Wall, restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Romney faces no such problem because his Mormon faith casts him as a strong backer of Israel and the rights of Jews in all of the Land of Israel. The former Massachusetts governor has harshly criticized President Obama for “throwing Israel under the bus.’

Romney has had a friendly relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for years and immediately sent him condolences after his father passed away last month. President Barack Obama did not send a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu until a few hours after Arutz Sheva asked the Prime Minister’s spokesmen whether the president had done so.

A visit to Israel by Romney also would sharpen his image regarding foreign policy, while highlighting the fact that during his term in office, President Obama has visited 30 countries, but not Israel.

Romney “can go there and reiterate his record, build some confidence in the Israeli people and send a message to Americans [about] what kind of a relationship he would have and what kind of policy he would have towards Israel,”  Iowa Rep. Steve King told The Hill.READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 1, 2012: Three GOP candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum & Newt Gingrich to address AIPAC via satellite



Three GOP candidates to address AIPAC via satellite

Source: JTA, 3-1-12

Three of the four Republican presidential candidates will speak to the AIPAC conference by satellite on Super Tuesday.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich each will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on the morning of March 6 before an expected 13,000 activists — a record number. The activists will spend the rest of the day lobbying Congress to ratchet up Iran’s isolation and intensify the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship.

Ten states will be voting in primaries on Super Tuesday, so the candidates will speak by satellite as they spend the day campaigning.

President Obama will address the conference on Sunday morning; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to speak the next evening….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 29, 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Arizona Primary — Narrowly Beats Rick Santorum in Michigan Primary



Romney wins in Michigan, Arizona

Source: JTA, 2-29-12

Mitt Romney won Republican primary contests in Arizona and Michigan, maintaining his front-runner status.

In Michigan, the state his father governed and where he was raised, Romney beat back a challenge Tuesday by Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, 41 percent to 38 percent, with nearly all of the vote counted.

But Santorum’s strong challenge forecasts a long and difficult fight for Romney to win the nomination for president. The former Massachusetts governor had to outspend Santorum in a state that just weeks ago he had been expected to win handily.

Romney won handily in Arizona, defeating Santorum by 47 percent to 27 percent….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 28, 2012: Republican Presidential Candidates on the issues: GOP hopefuls on Israel, Iran, abortion, Social Security and more



On the issues: GOP hopefuls on Israel, Iran, abortion, Social Security and more

Source: JTA, 2-28-12

In advance of Super Tuesday, JTA takes a look at the stances of the four Republican presidential candidates on some issues of Jewish interest….Read More »

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