Lester Crown, the chairman of Henry Crown and Company and of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, wrote in The Jerusalem Post that President Barack Obama has supported Israel—the way Crown knew Obama would. Crown wrote:
Four years ago, then-senator Obama was subject to unfounded attacks from Republicans attempting to prove that he was anti- Israel. In a desperate attempt to attract Jewish voters to the GOP, the presidential campaign of the Republican Party grossly exaggerated and distorted stories about Obama’s background. Their intention was to scare voters about his commitment to Israel were he to become president.
In response, I wrote a letter to my fellow Jewish leaders imploring them to understand that Barack had already passed the gut test. I explained that I had been sure that he was a strong friend of Israel ever since the day we met.
Again today, with elections near, the attacks on the president’s Israel record are on the rise. While governor Mitt Romney has made the economy the focal point of his campaign, his critiques of president Obama’s positions on Israel’s security have been wholly unwarranted. Under the theme of promising to do ‘the opposite’ of Obama on Israel, Romney has attacked a president who has done more for Israel than any recent predecessor. Over the last three years he:
* Authorized $3 billion of foreign aid assistance in 2011 and $3.075b. in 2012.
* Added an additional $205 million to produce more Iron Domes missile defense systems in 2011 and an additional $70m. in 2012.
* Oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the joint development and production of the Arrow and David’s Sling missile defense systems.
* Unconditionally backed the closest and most in-depth relationship between the US military and the IDF in history.
Recently, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, ‘This administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.’
President Shimon Peres also said during a recent meeting with Ambassador Dan Shapiro, ‘I consider the president of the United States, Barack Obama, as a friend of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel.’
* Opposed the inaccurate, unbalanced Goldstone Report, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, sided with Israel against the Gaza flotilla and thwarted Palestinian attempts to unilaterally declare statehood at the UN
* Said, ‘Get Israel whatever it needs. Now,’ when Israel asked for help to fight the Mount Carmel fires.
* Said, ‘I will do everything I can,’ when Binyamin Netanyahu called the president last September and asked for help to rescue the Israelis trapped in the Egyptian Embassy by what appeared to be a ‘lynch mob.’ The president did everything he could and they were rescued.
* Continuously toughened the sanctions on Iran with the oral assurance that the United States will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. He reinforced this view with the statement that containment of Iran is not an option for the United States.
And the list goes on. So it would be interesting to hear exactly what governor Romney would do that is ‘the opposite’ of President Obama’s actions and how that would be to Israel’s benefit….
While support for Israel is, of course, only one of the criteria for president of the United States, he is exactly the pro-Israel president that I believed he would be when I gave him my support in 2008.
Click here to read Crown’s full op-ed.