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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

Romney Doubts the Wisdom of Establishing a Palestinian State

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

A candid video of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney doubting the logic of establishing a Palestinian state was released by the Leftist website, Mother Jones, earlier today.

The video was taken at a fundraiser for the Romney campaign on May 17th of this year.

In the video Romney says that he is “torn by two perspectives” with regard to Israeli-Palestinian peace. According to the first, which is the one he “has long held”, “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Romney elaborated, outlining the problems Israel would have ensuring that the Palestinian state does not become militarized or used by Iran as a base to attack Israel.

The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t guard our border with other Arab nations.”

And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we going to allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are going to say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.”

The other perspective Romney mentioned is that of an unnamed former secretary of state who Romney said called him and told him that after the next Palestinian Authority elections there will be prospects for peace. However, Romney said he “did not delve into” that view.

Romney – according to the first perspective at least – appears more opposed to Palestinian statehood than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said Israel should accept a “demilitarized” Palestinian state, as Romney argues that it would be impossible to ensure that the state remained demiliterized.

Here’s the text of the portion of Romney’s speech released by Mother Jones (the video is below):

I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.

Now why do I say that? Some might say, well let’s let the Palestinians have the West Bank, and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then comes a couple of thorny questions.

And I don’t have a map right here to look at the geography, but the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel. It’s—what the border be? Maybe seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank…

The other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan. And of course, the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza.

Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So Israel of course would have to say, “That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.” Well, that means that—who? The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t guard our border with other Arab nations.”

And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we going to allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are going to say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.”

These are problems—these are very hard to solve, all right? And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, “There’s just no way.”

And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.” You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.

On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won’t mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, I think there’s a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections. I said, “Really?” And, you know, his answer was, “Yes, I think there’s some prospect.” And I didn’t delve into it.

Daniel Tauber

Kerry cites Netanyahu in Calling GOP ‘Lies’

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praising the Obama administration in a bid to show that Republicans have “lied” about Obama and Israel.

“Barack Obama promised always to stand with Israel to tighten sanctions on Iran—and take nothing off the table,” Kerry said Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C., where Democrats are holding this year’s convention.

“Again and again, the other side has lied about where this president stands and what this president has done,” said Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee and believed to be a strong contender for the secretary of state spot in a second Obama term.

“But Prime Minister Netanyahu set the record straight—he said, our two countries have ‘exactly the same policy…’ – ‘our security cooperation is unprecedented…’ When it comes to Israel, I’ll take the word of Israel’s prime minister over Mitt Romney any day,” he said.

Netanyahu has assiduously avoided the appearance of endorsing a candidate, although he is known to be close to Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president. It was the second time this week that a Democrat used an Israeli figure to attack the GOP.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, cited Michael Oren at the convention’s outset in accusing Republicans of endangering Israel by sowing divisions between the parties on Israel.

Oren has decried partisan use of Israel, but in an unusually sharp statement denied ever specifying one party or the other.

JTA

Some Love Lost: Dems Drop ‘Special Relationship’ Language from 2012 Platform

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The pro-Israel news wires have been abuzz over the excision of core pro Israel language from the 2012 Democratic Party Platform. But it is not only the changes in the Democrats’ planks that should be examined.

For those who missed it but who care about Israel, here’s a recap.

Statements in the Democratic party platform referring to Israel that were included in their 2008 document, such as America’s “strongest ally in the region,” and mentioning “our special relationship with Israel” are gone.

Not only that, but Jerusalem does not merit even a single mention in the Democrats’ 2012 document.  The 2008 commitment that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel” which “should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths” has evaporated.

State Department Spokewoman Victoria Nuland, Obama White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, have all refused to allow the phrase “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” to pass their lips.  Did they not know that those words were an essential component of the Democratic Party’s public pledge in 2008?

The 2012 Democratic Party Platform now simply refers to aid to Israel and the maintenance of Israel’s qualitative military edge as something for which this president was responsible, rather than, in truth, that congress is where those decisions were made.  What’s more, in this year’s version there is no explicit promise to maintain that edge going forward.  Support for Israel’s right to defend itself and the president’s “steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage” similarly seem stuck in time, with no forward-looking commitment whatsoever.

Also missing is what had been a solid commitment to isolate Hamas.  Instead, the only pre-conditions imposed are the same for all Arabs in the area – “we will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist [not to exist as a Jewish State, just to exist], reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.” That’s it.

But what about the Republican Party Platform?  Maybe US politicians are all beginning to turn away from the Middle East, where the conflicts never seem to end.  Maybe a decision to step away from an ally who some claim only brings its supporters down, while never seeming to gain traction for the ally, is happening across the board.

Nope.

But there have been changes regarding Israel between the 2008 Republican Party Platform and the one just passed in Tampa at last week’s Republican Party Convention.

So what are they? And how significant are they?

It’s hard to tell what the significance of the change in language regarding the peace process – just four years ago the Republican Platform included the following sentence:

We support the vision of two democratic states living in peace and security: Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestine.

In the 2012 Platform:

We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security. (emphasis added)

In other words, one is an imperative with which the Republicans agree, and the other is simply what they are imagining, but it is not an essential outcome.  And in both Republican platforms, the creation of a future state of Palestine is conditional upon the people who are seeking its creation to “support leaders who reject terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy, and respect the rule of law.”

Here’s a clear language change: the bold print introducing the Platform section having to do with Israel has expanded from the 2008 one word name of the state to 2012’s “Our Unequivocal Support of Israel.”

And here’s a huge difference between the visions of the two parties: the single essential goal for Israel and her neighbors sought by the Republican Platform “is a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.”  In the Democratic National Platform, an essential component for achieving this country’s commitment to Israel’s security is “two states for two people.”  In other words, the Democratic Platform will not allow for any conclusion to the Middle East peace process without the creation of a Palestinian State, whereas the Republicans’ sole end goal is peace, without attaching any collateral pre-conditions.

In addition to the central role of the creation of a Palestinian State and the rejection of Jerusalem as having plank-worthy stature, there are several other respects in which the language of the current Democratic Party Platform differs starkly from that of the Republicans’.  The need to isolate both Hamas and Hezbollah is in the Republicans’ but not the Democrats’ Platforms.  And finally, the pronouncement by the Republicans (in both 2008 and 2012) that Israel not be forced to negotiate with entities pledged to her destruction is not discussed by the Democrats.

On the other hand, there are two significant pro-Israel deletions from the Republicans’ 2012 Platform.  In 2008, there was both a pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the avowed support for Jerusalem to remain undivided.  That language is not in the 2012 Republican Platform.

Is there anything both parties have abandoned this time around?  Yes.  There is no mention of the Arab Palestinian refugee issue in either current Platform.

So, what’s the score?  Deleting familiar terms of support and ignoring a central issue like Jerusalem has to be troublesome for pro-Israel voters who planned to vote for the President.  But even the Republican Party has decided that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and insisting that the Holy City not be divided is no longer considered a promise worth making.

In the end, reading any platform, like listening to any speech, is a way to try to figure out how a candidate will govern if he wins.  And at the end of the day, that’s about what’s in his heart, not what’s on his posters.  Changes of tone of voice, of emphasis, like the deletion of issues or the difference between a commitment and a vision, are straws in the wind.

The weather’s been rough in Charlotte for lots of people these last few days, but the changes to the Democratic Platform about Israel really do tell us important things about which way the wind is blowing down there – and it’s hard not to see a change in direction from the way it has blown, for the Democratic party, for a long time.  If Obama wins, these new planks suggest, Israel will have less support on such key issues as Jerusalem.

As for the Republicans, the changes they’ve made seem to have split the difference, with some additions strengthening their commitment to the Jewish state, and others seemingly weakening it.

What that means for Jewish voters, or for others concerned about Israel, and the Middle East, will only be known a long time after the first Tuesday of this November.

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

70% of Obama’s Twitter Followers are Fake or Inactive

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Analysts found that among the 19 million followers that President Obama has on Twitter, 30% are fake accounts, and another 40% are inactive accounts.

Mitt Romney on the other hand has only 900,000 Twitter followers, but only 15% of his are fake, and 30% are inactive.

 

Source: Mashable

Jewish Press News Briefs

We Are Not Home In America

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai and Malkah further discussing the Iranian nuclear threat and how it has caused Iran’s neighbors and the rest of the Arab world to stock up on American-made arms and weapon systems and how because of it, Israel needs have less reliance on support provided by the United States. They move on to talk about how the upcoming American presidential election and how neither candidate is necessarily more pro-Israel than the other and ways that listeners can support Israel other than through elections. They end the segment by discussing how the ban of ritual circumcision in Germany has affected the German Jewish and Muslim communities and how circumcisions have continued in secret.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Jon Voight Woos Jews in Otherwise Tame Tampa Convention

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Delegates to the Republican Convention have been pouring into Tampa for the last several days.  The delegates have been pouring in, but thus far, despite predictions that Hurricane Isaac might bring with it heavy rain and driving winds, there has been ‘nary a cloud in the sky.

Lynne Kessler Lechter  serves on the National Women’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition.  Lechter told The Jewish Press that on Saturday night she attended a dinner for Republican Jewish Coalition leadership at the home of Ambassador Mel and Betty Semble.  Semble, a co-chair of the Florida Finance Committee for Mitt Romney, served as US ambassador to both Italy (2001 – 05) and Australia (1989-93).

The Academy Award-winner Jon Voight was one of the speakers at Saturday night’s dinner.  Lechter, who serves on the National Women’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition, was delighted.  Voight explained to the RJC leadership that in part, his strong support for Israel was based on the fact that “his dad worked hard all his life and taught him to love and respect Jews because they have similar values.”

Marion Taxin is a delegate to the Republican Convention, representing Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, located in suburban Philadelphia.  This will be Taxin’s second Republican Convention, having attended as an alternate in 2008.

The Jewish Press caught up with Taxin as she traveled by bus from the West Shore Doubletree Hotel on her way to the Convention site.  Although Taxin had not yet heard the news that Rabbi Meir Soloveichik was going to be giving the Convention invocation, she already knew, she said, that “Mitt Romney was truly committed to the Jewish State.”

“Josh Romney spoke to our delegation at a breakfast this morning,” said Taxin.  “He told us with such great pride that when he and his parents were recently in Israel, the response from the Israelis was incredibly enthusiastic,” she continued.

“He told us that so many people came up to him, when he was in Jerusalem, and said, ‘we need your dad, we have to have your dad win.'”  Taxin said that “Romney’s son understood that his father needs to win because Israel’s future is at stake.”

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Wake Up, America, It Ain’t 1895

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/wake-up-america-it-aint-1895.html

I had two interesting responses to my article on Baltimore and the decay of America and because my energy level is very low now as I begin treatment for cancer allow me to respond briefly.

One friend asks why you believe that Romney and Ryan have answers for fixing America. Because America must decide whether it is going to be a society of productivity, making new things and wealth, or merely looting and passing around the ruins of Rome. A city like Baltimore will not be rebuilt by taking money to lower living standards in the suburbs but by creating great new enterprises that produce goods and services people want.

Another polite reader put the following in the nicest possible way—I’m not being sarcastic—don’t the Republicans and Romney just represent nineteenth century plutocratic greedy capitalism dressed up as free enterprise? Millions of Americans believe this and unless they change their minds America will not change.

Yes, that evil Romney who wants to buy another 100 Rolls Royces not like those modest-living Kennedys, Gores, and all the rest, including a serious Democratic presidential candidate who betrayed his cancer-stricken wife after making a fortune on rather questionable legal actions. And I seem to recall a great lionized hero who–let’s face it there’s no doubt, murdered a poor young working-class woman and left her to drown without ever paying for his crime. Sure there are bad conservatives and bad Republicans, corrupt and immoral people, but for goodness sake you aren’t treating them as great tribunes of the masses, as the friends of the exploiters, as they line their pockets from yours.

It’s time to rethink the reality we live in.

Look, it ain’t 1895 any more. Does the American government tremble because of Ford, General Motors, U.S. Steel, Standard Oil of New Jersey, the Pennsylvania Railroad and other mighty enterprises many of which have collapsed completely?

No. It is the opposite, the corporations tremble before the government regulators who have the power to tie them into knots. And their main response is not to fight but to flee abroad.

Oh, mighty General Motors saved by the great Obama (Hooray! Hooray! For the great messiah of business) with billions of your taxpaying dollars in order to create employment…in China!

Do workers living in hovels fear the boss telling them they are now out of work with no unemployment or pension; that their hours are increased, that they are going to be thrown out of their company homes because they were ten minutes late at work?

No, it is the unions—at least where such things survive in the heavy industry—that have the whip hand. The government is 100 percent on their side. Do the big-bellied capitalists blow cigar smoke into the faces of newspaper editors and threaten to cut off advertising unless scandals are covered up? No, it is the government’s scandals that are covered up. And if anything the companies are made to face unfair charges.

The corporate executives want to look good. They want people to say and write nice things about them. They want to be regarded as good corporate citizens. They spend money running image ads about how they feed songbirds than on doing breakthrough research.

They can’t even get oil-drilling going off most of the coast at a time when America has no energy independence, prices are sky high, and the economy needs a boost.

What is reality here? Yes, there were such times in America of bullying plutocratic greedy polluting capitalist super-villains but that just isn’t 2012. And yes, too, there was a time when some redistribution of wealth was needed. That was decades ago, too. Know why? Because working stiffs had to buy all those cars, toasters, refrigerators, and other consumer goods rolling out of the factories. That’s why advertising was a good thing. That’s why America flourished after World War Two.

Tell me, is America’s problem today that there is a vast working class—even a vast poor class—that cannot buy cheap computers and expensive sports’ shoes?

And finally don’t forget small business, all those millions of people who aren’t big moguls trying to make a living for themselves and their families and their employees.

Barry Rubin

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