Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was in Israel yesterday where he gave a speech (transcript) about the U.S. Support for Israel and met with Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“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 a 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 we 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.
While Israeli’s were happy to meet Romney and hear what he had to say, it’s leaders, President Shimon Peres and the Minister of Defense Ehud Barack were telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in separate interviews which aired Monday, July 30, 2012, that no other President has had as close a tie with Israel as President Obama currently has with regards to security.
Barack: Under President Obama, he is doing in regards to help our security more than anyone I can remember in my life.
Blitzer: More than any other Presidents like, LBJ, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush?
Barack: Yes, in terms of the support for our security, the cooperation of our intelligence, sharing of sorts in a very open way, even when there are differences.
Peres: When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issue of security, I think it’s a highly satisfactory record from an Israeli point of view.
And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has echoed these same remarks in past interviews on CNN.
Romney’s remarks also angered the Palestinian Authority when Romney said that East Jerusalem should not be given to the Palestinians. Then at a fundraiser in Israel which included Sheldon Adelson sitting next to him, Romney further enraged the Palestinians who accused him of “racism”.
“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence”.
The reaction of Palestinian leaders was quick and strong.
“What is this man doing here? Yesterday, he destroyed negotiations by saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and today he is saying Israeli culture is more advanced than Palestinian culture. Isn’t this racism? Israelis and Palestinians have a conflict, but they are people, they are equal, it is not a better culture or advanced culture,” said Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian official.
“It’s Israeli occupiers and Palestinians under occupation, and that’s why Palestinians cannot realize their potential.”
After the fundraiser Romney left Israel to visit Poland, the last of three countries Romney planned to visit before returning to the United States.
In England earlier this week in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams in London, Mitt Romney enraged England by saying that their security was not ready.
“There are a few things that were disconcerting,” Romney said of the event which has been 15 years in the planning and is expected to cost over £9bn.
“The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”
So far Mitt Romney has enraged governments in both England and in Israel, what will he say to anger the Polish government today?
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