Full Text Israel Political Brief December 9, 2015: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office Press Release on Donald Trump’s Plan to Ban Muslims from the United States



Prime Minister’s Office Press Release on Donald Trump’s Recent Statement

Source: PMO, 12-9-15
Regarding Donald Trump’s recent statement, the Prime Minister’s Office issued the following:

“Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims.

The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.

As for the meeting with Mr. Trump that was set some two weeks ago, the Prime Minister decided earlier this year on a uniform policy to agree to meet with all presidential candidates from either party who visit Israel and ask for a meeting.

This policy does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views. Rather, it is an expression of the importance that Prime Minister Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.”

Jewish Political Brief November 7, 2012: Fighting over every percentage point: Arguing about the Jewish vote and exit polls




Fighting over every percentage point: Arguing about the Jewish vote and exit polls

Source: JTA, 11-7-12

President Obama earned 69-70 percent of the Jewish vote, according to exit polls, but it was a drop from his 2008 showing. Expect four more years of tussling between Democrats and Republicans as to why….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief November 5, 2012: Last pushes for Jewish votes in Ohio, other swing states stir emotions




Last pushes for Jewish votes in Ohio, other swing states stir emotions

Source: JTA, 11-5-12

The final push for the Jewish vote stresses themes of Jewish vulnerability and of threatened Jewish values….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief November 1, 2012: Jack Lew v. Tevi Troy: Green Road Synagogue hosts debate of current and former White House execs




Live from Beachwood! Jack Lew v. Tevi Troy

Source: JTA, 11-1-12

Lots of naches at the Orthodox Green Road synagogue, in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, for Jack Lew and Tevi Troy, Orthodox Jews who have reached the highest precincts of governmnt — Lew as President Obama’s chief of staff, and Troy as the deputy health secretary in the last Bush administration.

The debate has been organized by the Orthodox Union. Its moderator is OU’s Washington director, Nathan Diament….READ MORE

Green Road Synagogue hosts current and former White House execs

Green Road Synagogue hosts current and former White House execsWhite House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, left, and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tevi Troy, right.

Politics and Orthodox Jewry mixed at Green Road Synagogue last night (Nov. 1) at Green Road Synagogue where more than 125 Jews gathered to hear Jack Lew, White House chief of staff, and Tevi Troy, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, discuss the presidential election and their religion’s role in their careers.

Lew, a surrogate for President Barack Obama’s campaign, and Troy, a surrogate for Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign, found common ground in their Orthodox religion and in their belief of the government’s limited ability to lower private school tuition, but agreed on little else….READ MORE


Jewish Political Brief November 1, 2012: Bloomberg endorses Obama, citing climate change, hurricane




Bloomberg endorses Obama, citing climate change, hurricane

Source: JTA, 11-1-12

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama for reelection, citing climate change and New York’s experience with Hurricane Sandy….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief October 29, 2012: David A. Harris Pro-Barack Obama Op-ed: Obama speaks to our best traditions



Op-Ed: Obama speaks to our best traditions

Source: David A. Harris, JTA, 10-29-12

President Obama is the candidate of American Jews’ values and priorities, writes the president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief October 29, 2012: Matthew Brooks Pro-Mitt Romney Op-Ed: Time to stop digging and start building



Op-Ed: Time to stop digging and start building

Source: Matthew Brooks, JTA, 10-29-12

Mitt Romney offers solutions that can get America out of the hole, writes the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition….READ MORE »

Jewish Political Brief October 26, 2012: Down to the wire, Mitt Romney resurrects moderate posture that attracted Jewish support




Down to the wire, Romney resurrects moderate posture that attracted Jewish support

Source: JTA, 10-26-12

Mitt Romney’s record of relative moderation was a selling point to many Jewish Republicans even if it was a minus in the GOP primaries….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief October 26, 2012: For Obama campaign, trying to put to rest persistent questions about ‘kishkes’




For Obama campaign, trying to put to rest persistent questions about ‘kishkes’

Source: JTA, 10-26-12

For President Obama’s Jewish supporters, questions about Israel have been a campaign constant….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: Mitt Romney’s peace pessimism draws muted response from Jewish groups



Romney’s peace pessimism draws muted response from Jewish groups

Source: JTA, 9-23-12

Mitt Romney’s pessimistic take on Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects drew some media attention but not much noise from centrist Jewish groups….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 14, 2012: Mitt Romney: Same ‘red line’ as President Barack Obama on Iran, but a different strategy



Romney: Same ‘red line’ as Obama on Iran, but a different strategy

Source: JTA, 9-14-12

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney suggested that he had the same “red line” as President Obama on Iran but a different strategy to prevent the Islamic Republic from crossing it….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief August 6, 2012: Romney Ad Criticizes Obama for not Visiting Israel



Romney ad raps Obama for not visiting Israel

Source: JTA, 8-6-12

A Mitt Romney campaign ad criticizes President Obama for not visiting Israel during his presidency and refusing to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel….READ MORE

Jewish Brief July 31, 2012: Romney Tours Site of Future Polish Jewish Museum



Romney tours site of future Polish Jewish museum

Source: JTA, 7-31-12

Mitt Romney toured the site of the future Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 31, 2012: Obama Administration: Mitt Romney’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital Contradicts US Policy



White House: Romney’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital contradicts U.S. policy

Source: JTA, 7-31-12

A White House spokesman noted that Mitt Romney’s calling Jerusalem the “capital of Israel” contradicts United States policy over several successive administrations….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 29, 2012: Romney in Jerusalem affirms strong Israel-U.S. alliance



Romney in Jerusalem affirms strong Israel-U.S. alliance

Source: JTA, 7-29-12

Mitt Romney in Jerusalem affirmed the strong alliance between the United States and Israel….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief July 29, 2012: Remarks by PM Netanyahu and Former Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Nominee for President of the United States During Romney’s Visit to Israel



Remarks by PM Netanyahu and Former Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Nominee for President of the United States

Source: PMO, 7-29-12

PM Netanyahu:  Governor Romney, Mitt, it’s a pleasure to welcome you here.  I have to say that I heard some of your remarks a few days ago – you said that the greatest danger facing the world is of the Ayatollah regime possessing nuclear weapons capability.  Mitt, I couldn’t agree with you more, and I think it’s important to do everything in our power to prevent the Ayatollahs from possessing the capability.  We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota.  And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat, coupled with the sanctions, to have a chance to change that situation.

We’re going to discuss all these issues and the turbulent region that the Middle East has now become in our talks.  I want you to know that in this great convulsion, there is one stable, democratic ally of the United States here in the Middle East, and that’s Israel; and that’s why I think that strengthening the relationship between America and Israel is in the interest of peace, in the interest of both our countries, and I believe that your visit is an expression of that desire on both of our peoples.  So, I welcome you here on behalf of the State of Israel, the champion of democracy in the Middle East, as a representative of the United States, the greatest champion of freedom in the world.

Welcome to Jerusalem.

Romney:  Thank you so much.  Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.  It’s an honor to be with you today.  We do have a friendship which spans the years, and at a critical time like this, I come to learn of your perspectives and your ideas with regards to the challenges faced in the region and challenges faced around the world.  I’m honored to be here on the day of Tisha B’Av, to recognize the solemnity of the day and also the suffering of the Jewish people over the centuries and the millennia, and come with recognition of the sacrifices of so many.  Unfortunately, the tragedies of wanton killing are not only things of the past, but have darkened our skies in even more recent times.

Your perspectives with regards to Iran and its effort to become a nuclear-capable nation are ones which I take with great seriousness and look forward to chatting with you about further actions that we can take to dissuade Iran from their nuclear folly.  Your perspectives also with regards to the developments throughout the region – in Syria, Egypt and other nations – will be most helpful.

We have a relationship between our nations which spans many years, and at the same time, is one based not just upon mutual interests, but also shared values.  Like Israel, we share a commitment to democracy, to freedom of speech, to freedom of association, to the preservation of human rights; and these common values and common principles have caused our nations to draw closer over the years.  And as we face the challenges of an Iran seeking nuclear capability, we must draw upon our interests and our values to take them on a different course and to assure that people recognize throughout the world that the United States and Israel are bound in our commitments to one another.

So thank you.  I appreciate the chance to be with you for our discussion and also a chance to enjoy a meal together, breaking the fast for your family at the end of the day, and look forward to a productive day.  Thank you.

Full Text Israel Political Brief July 29, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech to the Jerusalem Foundation on Israel’s Right to Defend itself From Nuclear Iran in Jerusalem, Israel



Remarks To The Jerusalem Foundation

Source: Mitt Romney, 7-29-12


Mitt Romney today delivered remarks to the Jerusalem Foundation in Jerusalem, Israel. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Thank you for that kind introduction, Mayor Barkat, and thank you all for that warm welcome.  It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be in Israel again.

To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land. The Jewish people persisted through one of the most monstrous crimes in human history, and now this nation has come to take its place among the most impressive democracies on earth. Israel’s achievements are a wonder of the modern world.

These achievements are a tribute to the resilience of the Israeli people.  You have managed, against all odds, time and again throughout your history, to persevere, to rise up, and to emerge stronger.

The historian Paul Johnson, writing on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Jewish state, said that over the course of Israel’s life, 100 completely new independent states had come into existence. “Israel is the only one whose creation can fairly be called a miracle,” Johnson wrote.

It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

Our two nations are separated by more than 5,000 miles. But for an American abroad, you can’t get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you do in Israel.  We’re part of the great fellowship of democracies.  We speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace.  We serve the same cause and provoke the same hatreds in the same enemies of civilization.

It is my firm conviction that the security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States. And ours is an alliance based not only on shared interests but also on enduring shared values.

In those shared values, one of the strongest voices is that of your prime minister, my friend Benjamin Netanyahu.  I met with him earlier this morning and I look forward to my family joining his this evening as they observe the close of this fast day of Tisha B’Av.

It’s remarkable to consider how much adversity, over so great a span of time, is recalled by just one day on the calendar.  This is a day of remembrance and mourning, but like other such occasions, it also calls forth clarity and resolve.

At this time, we also remember the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were massacred at the Munich Olympics forty years ago. Ten years ago this week, 9 Israeli and American students were murdered in the terrorist attack at Hebrew University. And tragedies like these are not reserved to the past. They are a constant reminder of the reality of hate, and the will with which it is executed upon the innocent.

It was Menachem Begin who said this about the Ninth of the month of Av:  “We remember that day,” he said, “and now have the responsibility to make sure that never again will our independence be destroyed and never again will the Jew become homeless or defenseless.” “This,” Prime Minister Begin added, “is the crux of the problems facing us in the future.”

So it is today, as Israel faces enemies who deny past crimes against the Jewish people and seek to commit new ones.

When Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the naïve – or worse – will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric.  Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses.  They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way.

My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country. As Prime Minister Begin put it, in vivid and haunting words, “if an enemy of [the Jewish] people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him.”

We have seen the horrors of history.  We will not stand by.  We will not watch them play out again.

It would be foolish not to take Iran’s leaders at their word. They are, after all, the product of a radical theocracy.

Over the years Iran has amassed a bloody and brutal record. It has seized embassies, targeted diplomats, and killed its own people. It supports the ruthless Assad regime in Syria. They have provided weapons that have killed American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has plotted to assassinate diplomats on American soil.  It is Iran that is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and the most destabilizing nation in the world.

We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran’s leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions.

We should stand with all who would join our effort to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran – and that includes Iranian dissidents. Do not erase from your memory the scenes from three years ago, when that regime brought death to its own people as they rose up. The threat we face does not come from the Iranian people, but from the regime that oppresses them.

Five years ago, at the Herzliya Conference, I stated my view that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability presents an intolerable threat to Israel, to America, and to the world.

That threat has only become worse.

Now as then, the regime’s claims that it seeks to enrich nuclear material for peaceful purposes are belied by years of malign deceptions.

Now as then, the conduct of Iran’s leaders gives us no reason to trust them with nuclear material.

But today, the regime in Iran is five years closer to developing nuclear weapons capability.  Preventing that outcome must be our highest national security priority.

I want to pause on this last point. It is sometimes said that those who are the most committed to stopping the Iranian regime from securing nuclear weapons are reckless and provocative and inviting war.

The opposite is true. We are the true peacemakers. History teaches with force and clarity that when the world’s most despotic regimes secure the world’s most destructive weapons, peace often gives way to oppression, to violence, or to devastating war.

We must not delude ourselves into thinking that containment is an option. We must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability. We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you.

These are some of the principles I first outlined five years ago. What was timely then has become urgent today.

Let me turn from Iran to other nations in the Middle East, where we have seen rising tumult and chaos. To the north, Syria is on the brink of a civil war.  The dictator in Damascus, no friend to Israel and no friend to America, slaughters his own people as he desperately clings to power.

Your other neighbor to the north, Lebanon, is under the growing and dangerous influence of Hezbollah.

After a year of upheaval and unrest, Egypt now has an Islamist President, chosen in a democratic election. Hopefully, this new government understands that one true measure of democracy is how those elected by the majority respect the rights of those in the minority.  The international community must use its considerable influence to ensure that the new government honors the peace agreement with Israel that was signed by the government of Anwar Sadat.

As you know only too well, since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, thousands of rockets have rained on Israeli homes and cities.  I have walked on the streets of Sderot, and honor the resolve of its people. And now, new attacks have been launched from the Sinai Peninsula.

With Hezbollah rockets aimed at Israel from the north, and Hamas rockets aimed from the south, with much of the Middle East in tumult, and with Iran bent on nuclear arms, America’s vocal and demonstrated commitment to the defense of Israel is even more critical. Whenever the security of Israel is most in doubt, America’s commitment to Israel must be most secure.

When the decision was before him in 1948, President Harry Truman decided without hesitation that the United States would be the first country to recognize the State of Israel.  From that moment to this, we have been the most natural of allies, but our alliance runs deeper than the designs of strategy or the weighing of interests.

The story of how America – a nation still so new to the world by the standards of this ancient region – rose up to become the dear friend of the people of Israel is among the finest and most hopeful in our nation’s history.

Different as our paths have been, we see the same qualities in one another. Israel and America are in many respects reflections of one another.

We both believe in democracy, in the right of every people to select their leaders and choose their nation’s course.

We both believe in the rule of law, knowing that in its absence, willful men may incline to oppress the weak.

We both believe that our rights are universal, granted not by government but by our Creator.

We both believe in free enterprise, because it is the only economic system that has lifted people from poverty, created a large and enduring middle class, and inaugurated incomparable achievements and human flourishing.

As someone who has spent most of his life in business, I am particularly impressed with Israel’s cutting edge technologies and thriving economy.  We recognize yours as the “start-up nation” – and the evidence is all around us.

You have embraced economic liberty.  You export technology, not tyranny or terrorism.  And today, your innovators and entrepreneurs have made the desert bloom and have made for a better world.  The citizens of our countries are fortunate to share in the rewards of economic freedom and in the creativity of our entrepreneurs. What you have built here, with your own hands, is a tribute to your people, and a model for others.

Finally, we both believe in freedom of expression, because we are confident in our ideas and in the ability of men and women to think for themselves.  We do not fear open debate. If you want to hear some very sharp criticisms of Israel and its policies, you don’t have to cross any borders.  All you have to do is walk down the street and into a café, where you’ll hear people reasoning, arguing, and speaking their mind. Or pick up an Israeli newspaper – you’ll find some of the toughest criticism of Israel you’ll read anywhere. Your nation, like ours, is stronger for this energetic exchange of ideas and opinions.

That is the way it is in a free society. There are many millions of people in the Middle East who would cherish the opportunity to do the same.  These decent men and women desire nothing more than to live in peace and freedom and to have the opportunity to not only choose their government but to criticize it openly, without fear of repression or repercussion.

I believe that those who oppose these fundamental rights are on the wrong side of history. But history’s march can be ponderous and painfully slow. We have a duty to speed and shape history by being unapologetic ambassadors for the values we share.

The United States and Israel have shown that we can build strong economies and strong militaries. But we must also build strong arguments that advance our values and promote peace. We must work together to change hearts and awaken minds through the power of freedom, free enterprise and human rights.

I believe that the enduring alliance between the State of Israel and the United States of America is more than a strategic alliance: it is a force for good in the world. America’s support of Israel should make every American proud. We should not allow the inevitable complexities of modern geopolitics to obscure fundamental touchstones. No country or organization or individual should ever doubt this basic truth:  A free and strong America will always stand with a free and strong Israel.

And standing by Israel does not mean with military and intelligence cooperation alone.

We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel, voice their criticisms.  And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries.

By history and by conviction, our two countries are bound together.  No individual, no nation, no world organization, will pry us apart. And as long as we stay together and stand together, there is no threat we cannot overcome and very little that we cannot achieve.

Thank you all.  May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.

Israel Advocacy News July 26, 2012: Emergency Committee for Israel Raps Obama, J Street Hits Romney in Ads



Emergency Committee for Israel raps Obama, J Street hits Romney in ads

Source: JTA, 7-26-12
Liberal and conservative pro-Israel advocacy groups released ads targeting the presidential candidates….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 17, 2012: As US officials Descend on Israel, Republicans Rally for Votes for Upcoming Elections



As U.S. officials descend on Israel, Republicans rally for votes

Source: JTA, 6-17-12

The Republican Jewish Coalition campaigned for votes in Israel ahead of the expected visit to the country by presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, while U.S. officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also came to talk about American policy concerns in the Middle East….READ MORE


Are US-Israel Relations Heading for a Change?

Source: Israel National News, 7-17-12

Former ambassadors Yoram Ettinger and Zalman Shoval analyze the views of the candidates in the upcoming US presidential elections.
Obama Mitt Romney Candidates

Obama Mitt Romney Candidates

Hillary Clinton arrived in Israel Monday for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. This visit precedes an expected visit by Republican Candidate Mitt Romney, who is seeking to unseat President Obama.

This visit has been touted as one where strategic and regional issues will be discussed, yet the timing of the visit is questionable as President Obama is in the midst of a tight reelection campaign. As election season permeates the air and campaigns for the upcoming November elections intensify, both candidates will declare unshakable support for Israel in the hope of luring the necessary extra votes.

While most voters in America vote with their pockets – the main issues are economic- for some, policy towards Israel is important.

What can be expected from each candidate in the foreign policy arena and specifically with regard to  Israel?…READ MORE

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

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