Friday, September 21, 2012

U.S. & Israel - Beacons of Freedom

In an UK Guardian article journalist Harriet Sherwood writing from Jerusalem did a piece titled “Binyamin Netanyahu gambles on Mitt Romney Victory.” Ms. Sherwood comes to some obvious conclusions about recent visits, talks and photo ops between both men, but she also comes to some misguided ideas about the relationship as well. The article makes much about a recent Netanyahu statement - “The world needs American strength, not apologies,” as the tipping point in the ongoing, very public, dislike between the current leader of the United States, Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. And, while the PM has told the press that his comment wasn’t meant to reflect on his relationship with the current American president, calling the press’ inference “completely groundless,” everyone knows who Bibi was talking about. While his back-stepping may be the politically correct thing to do, sticking to what he really meant in the first place is the best thing to do.

On Governor Romney’s last visit to Israel just a few weeks ago the open display of friendship between Romney and Netanyahu should have come as no surprise to anyone vaguely familiar with the Governor’s feelings and policies concerning the Jewish State and the Israeli people. Netanyahu’s gestures of friendship and kindness to the American candidate for the U.S. Presidency also simply reflects his real feelings about Mitt Romney, an old friend and someone Bibi feels he can rely on to have Israel’s concerns near the top of Romney’s To Do List.

Ms. Sherwood stated that because of Netanyahu’s overt positive display of friendship to Mr. Romney, if Obama gets reelected to another four year term as the American president it could have “potential blowback” and be “damaging not just for the prime minister but for Israel itself.” My only question to Ms. Sherwood is - Where have you been for the last four years?

It's no secret that there is no love lost between Netanyahu and Obama. Can you blame the Prime Minister after all the public snubbing and off-mic bad remarks Obama has made about him and Israel. Romney, at least according to his public remarks and outward actions, will be a very strong ally for Israel. The Governor’s support for Israel is not something that has just come up recently as a result of his running for president. He has been a long supporter of the Jewish State and has made no secret or apologies over that support. Romney has always been an advocate for a strong Israel, both economically and militarily, believing that the tiny country, surrounded on all sides by vast, militant enemies, should “maintain its strategic military edge,” and he will work hard and if need be, “forcefully resist the emergence of anti-Israel policies in Turkey and Egypt,” and to make clear to all those in the region that “their interests are not served by isolating Israel.” The Governor has made his stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict very clear and concise, unlike his opponent Mr. Obama, who has allowed it to become so cloudy that even those involved directly can no longer pilot a straight course to a peace settlement. Mr. Romney has officially pledged that as president he would reject any measure that “would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.” As far as the Palestinians going it alone by advancing their Statehood status via the United Nations apart from direct face-to-face negotiations with Israel, the Governor said that he would oppose such an anti-Oslo Accords move on their part as totally “unacceptable.”

Mr. Romney believes that Mr. Obama’s treatment of Israel has been duplicitous and shows the president's sad lack of understanding for the “dynamics of the region.” Unlike President Obama, the Governor knows full well that the key to negotiating any kind of a real and lasting peace in that region of the world is completely dependent on a guarantee of Israel’s security.

What Americans, with all their economic, military and political power in the world haven't yet learned, but a lesson not lost on Mitt Romney, is this -- so goes the fate of Israel, so goes the fate of the United States. I know that's a hard pill to swallow for a nation as large and powerful as The United States of America, but it is a long, historically based fact and one that no president or leader of any nation should put to the test, a test that Mr. Obama is failing badly at by his words and his actions as the face of leadership of this country. His behavior, his public and private statements about the nation of Israel and certain duly elected officials in its government have been atrocious, arrogant and in extremely bad taste and reflect poorly on the American people, who still support Israel, America’s only real ally in the region, by a large majority. It’s time this president followed the course of his people or it’s time for him to make room for someone more willing to follow their lead.

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