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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Israel Update: Romney’s Trip and Obama’s Rocky Relations

by Newsteam Staff
July 6, 2012

President Barack Obama meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 5, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters). President Barack Obama meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 5, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

With GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney planning a summer trip to Israel, some analysts are discussing Romney’s attempts to use President Obama’s sometimes rocky relationship to the country’s leadership to his advantage.

Romney’s overseas trip will include a London visit for the Olympics and a visit to Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as others across the ideological spectrum in the Jewish state. In a June 16 address, Romney said that as president he would “forge a strong working relationship with the leadership in Israel” (Haaretz) and he would “not want to show a dime’s worth of distance between ourselves and our allies like Israel.”

In an editorial, the L.A. Times says that Romney has “tried to capitalize on a perception that President Obama is insufficiently attentive to Israel’s interests. ” But, the editors says, while he may try reaffirm his friendship with Netanyahu now, “in seeking to demonstrate that he is a better friend to Israel than the incumbent, Romney should be mindful of the fact that in the future, a President Romney might find that Israeli and U.S. interests are more than an inch apart.”

An editorial by Jerusalem Post urges President Obama to come to Israel before Election Day. “Obama has proved to be a true friend of Israel during his first term as president, though he has made mistakes – the building freeze in Judea and Samaria was the most glaring example,” it says. “A visit to Israel would be a fitting conclusion to four years of sometimes rocky, but generally positive, relations between the White House and the State of Israel.”

For more on the candidates’ stances, check out CFR’s Issue Trackers on the Candidates on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Suggested Other Reading:

CFR’s Daniel Senor argues that even Democrats have publicly questioned the Obama administration statements and policies toward Israel.

The tight race for the White House could be tipped by just a handful of issues, writes Politico‘s Maggie Haberman, including deeper economic unrest or “the possibility of an Iranian strike against Israel — or vice versa.”

Senior Editor Toni Johnson and Contributing Editor Gayle S. Putrich

1 Comment

  • Posted by Gemalyn

    Ugh. Honestly, I’m beginning to think that Huckabee is a DNC plant, or maybe just a flack sceern for McCain. It could be that he’s now getting more attention and as a result his views are in turn getting greater scrutiny, but the weirdness factor here just keeps going up. It almost does seem like he’s been put in place to serve as something easy for the DNC candidate to shoot down in the general election.It turns out that Japan has slightly higher corporate taxes than us, at least according to the information I have available right now (and this is amongst the OECD member countries, too). I think the Europeans and Canadians might envy our personal income tax rates, but as far as corporations are concerned, they give up a larger percentage of their income to the U.S. government than elsewhere. That alone is a major drag on growth in our economy. I’m hoping that Romney can level the playing field between our economy and that of our foreign competitors some.