References to the Arab world were relatively limited. On Egypt he said that hopefully the new government there understands the importance of respecting minority rights and keeping the peace agreement with Israel. Syria, Romney said, in an outdated phrase, was on the verge of civil war. The civil war has already arrived.
Much of the rest of the speech discussed the threats to Israel, the common interests of the two countries, and other staples of such occasions. Israel, Romney stated, exports technology, not tyranny and terrorism.
What was especially interesting was Romney’s list of five factors that brought together the United States and Israel: democracy, the rule of law, a belief in universal rights granted by our Creator (a reference to the Declaration of Independence and a subtle rebuke to Obama’s frequent omission of that divine attribution), free enterprise, and freedom of expression.
And then Romney added something that might become one of his most important lines in the months to come: Capitalism was the only economic system in history to raise people from poverty and create a huge middle class.