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On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made the sweeping claim that he would “do the opposite” of what President Barack Obama has done to support Israel. The Los Angeles Times reported [emphasis added]:
He responded with ridicule when asked what he would do, if elected, to strengthen U.S. relations with the Jewish state.
‘I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite,’ Romney said, to laughter and applause from members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an evangelical Christian political organization.
Romney’s statement is just the latest instance of him speaking in sound bites instead of offering substantive foreign policy ideas—just like on Iran. Worse, it is an indication that Romney does not understand the current state of relations between the United States and Israel.
If Romney were to “do the opposite” of what President Obama has done for Israel, what would he do differently? Instead of what President Obama has done, would he not:
* Increase Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME), as Obama did during the first months of his term? The last Republican president let Israel’s QME lapse.
* Provide Israel with the largest amounts of direct foreign aid in U.S. history, as Obama has?
* Provide Israel with hundreds of millions of dollars in supplemental funding for missile defense programs like the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow systems, as Obama has?
* Sell Israel bunker busting bombs as Obama did? The last Republican president refused to.
* Match Obama’s unprecedented record of voting with Israel 100% of the time at the United Nations?
* Have a top-to-bottom policy of standing up consistently and passionately for Israel at the United Nations like Obama - especially considering that certain members of his party see the UN as either pointless or something the U.S. should draw away from?
* Answer Israel’s “3:00 a.m. phone call,” like when Obama personally intervened to save the lives of Israel’s diplomats in Egypt? In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that “We owe him a special measure of gratitude.” Or would Romney not say, “get Israel whatever it needs, now,” as Obama did in response to the Carmel Forest fire?
If Romney were to “do the opposite” on any of these things, Israel would face more security, diplomatic and other challenges. “Doing the opposite” is a sound bite, and a bad one at that; it is no substitute for a policy. For the sake of Israel’s security, Romney must clarify his statement immediately and explain what he would really do differently, if anything.
Click here to learn what else Romney would do the opposite of.
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