By Eric Weissmann
In Barack Obama, J-Street – the left-wing, Soros-funded group that falsely claims to be pro-Israel – had everything it wanted. As president, Obama has seemed more interested in preventing Israel from taking military action against Iran, than in preventing Iran from becoming nuclear.
Obama has worked hard to create "distance" between the United States and Israel. Obama has pushed Israel to make concessions that weaken its security interests, while not requiring any reciprocal concessions from Palestinian authorities. Obama has found it easier to make concessions than to stand on principle. And, Obama repeatedly found moral equivalence between Israel, a free market democracy and close ally of America since its founding, and nations that continue to sanction terror and obstruct peace.
Of course, the Obama/J-Street strategy has failed. "I have not been able to move the peace process forward in the Middle East the way I wanted," the President told ABC affiliate in Washington.
Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel, and in particular his remarkable speech in Jerusalem, sets forth a return to the moral clarity that underlies successful periods in America’s relations abroad.
First, Romney’s statements on his foundational support for Israel were clear: “the security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States. And ours is an alliance based not only on shared interests but also on enduring shared values…A free and strong America will always stand with a free and strong Israel.”
Of course, Obama does not think America’s values are exceptional, so why would he esteem shared values? Romney specifically called out our common belief in democracy, in the rule of law, in the universality of rights (i.e., that rights come not from government but from G-d), in free enterprise, in economic liberty, and in freedom of expression. Obama does not value these beliefs in America – why should he value them in other nations.
Indeed, as President, Obama hasn’t visited Israel, even when he was in the neighborhood visiting Saudi Arabia and Egypt, whereas it’s clear that Romney understands that Israel is America in the Middle East; and vice versa.
Second, Romney was totally clear on Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. As recently as last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dodged that question, saying “you know our position” and moving on – but later releasing a statement punting the status of Jerusalem for “final status negotiations.”
Third, Romney was clear on Iran. When Romney speaks about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a “nuclear weapons capability.” Obama usually says it is unacceptable for them to have a nuclear weapon. The distinction is important – Obama does not feel a line has been crossed until Iran has tightened the last screw – and is how Obama avoids responsibility for addressing this impending national security disaster.
Fourth, Romney gave a hint on his overarching view of America’s role in the world. He said, “It is sometimes said that those who are the most committed to stopping the Iranian regime from securing nuclear weapons are reckless and provocative and inviting war. The opposite is true. We are the true peacemakers.”
That statement – and the others -- tells us that a Romney presidency will eschew appeasement; will understand that peace can only be achieved and maintained through America’s strength; will be guided by American values and interests, not American electoral politics; will be clear about who are America’s friends – and what it means to be America’s friend; and that America’s global position will be based on a morally clear vision.
Where Obama apologizes to enemies, Romney bolsters friends. Where Obama is guided by politics, Romney is guided by values. Where Obama equivocates, Romney leads.
The difference could not be clearer.
***Eric Weissmann is a successful entrepreneur from Boulder, CO and former Republican candidate for Congress. He has served on the Colorado Executive Committee of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, among many other community organizations. This article also published July 30, 2012 by ColoradoPeakPolitics.com.