This post was updated on July 28, 2012.
In another attempt to politicize the U.S.-Israel relationship, Mitt Romney is falsely claiming that President Obama’s policies have somehow isolated or undermined Israel’s position in the Middle East. In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, Romney said, “Even at the United Nations, to the enthusiastic applause of Israel’s enemies, [President Obama] spoke as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem.”
Romney’s claim doesn’t stand up under the facts. As a steadfast supporter of Israel and its security, President Obama has been vigilant in standing by Israel and protecting its interests.
President Obama has resolutely rejected all attempts to question Israel’s right to exist or weaken Israel’s legitimacy. Speaking before the U.N., he said “Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance—it’s injustice.”
Not only did the President promise to veto Palestinian attempts to unilaterally seek statehood recognition through the U.N., he prevented the vote from happening at all and called efforts to avoid direct negotiations with Israel a “mistake.” “The United Nations can achieve a lot of important work. What the United Nations is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state. The only way that we’re going to see a Palestinian state is if Israelis and Palestinians agree on a just peace,” he said.
In addition to fighting for “fair and normal treatment everyday for Israel throughout the United Nations,” the Obama Administration used its first U.N. Security Council veto to stop condemnation of Israeli settlements. The U.S. was the only country on the 15-member Security Council not to support the resolution.
The Obama administration stood with Israel by pushing back on the “one-sided” Goldstone Report. The President also stood with Israel in boycotting the 2009 and 2011 Durban Conferences, which unfairly singled out Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked President Obama and described the President’s support for Israel at the U.N. as “a badge of honor.” Mitt Romney is trying to mislead people with these kinds of attacks, which ignore the strong relationship that currently exists between Israel and the U.S. under President Obama.