Presidentskandidaat Mitt Romney gaat alleen, voor de VS en voor Israël

Op het plaatje: Premier Benjamin Netanjahoe en Mitt Romney, gouverneur van Massachusetts en kandidaat voor de Republikeinen voor het Amerikaanse presidentschap. Hun vriendschap is al 30 jaar oud en dateert uit de jaren 1970 toen ze beiden nog jong en in 1976 samen aan de slag waren in de Boston Consulting Group in de V.S. [Jonathan S. Tobin in “Mitt-Bibi Controversy? Aren’t Allies Supposed to Be Friends?]

Nadat de laatste belangrijke rivaal Rick Santorum voor het presidentskandidaat voor de Republikeinen gisteren afhaakte, gaat Mitt Romney er alleen voor. Naar alle waarschijnlijkheid zal de Republikein Romney het moeten opnemen tegen huidig president Barack Obama. Obama is bij herhaling geen goede vriend van Israël gebleken. Vandaar dat het interessant is om eens te kijken naar wat Romney te vertellen heeft omtrent zijn positie ten aanzien van het Midden-Oosten en Israël in het bijzonder. Hierna volgen een reeks uitspraken die hij het afgelopen jaar heeft gedaan. Het zou verkiezingspropaganda kunnen zijn maar dan kunnen wij hem later nog altijd wijzen op wat hij beloofd heeft.

Presidential Candidates’ Views on the Middle East:
Mitt Romney


Een selectie uit de meest opmerkelijke (onvertaalde) citaten:

De band met Israël

“In a Romney administration, the world will know that the bond between Israel and America is unbreakable…”
Remarks to the 2012 AIPAC Policy Conference, March 6, 2012

“I will travel to Israel on my first foreign trip. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I want the world to know that the bonds between Israel and the United States are unshakable.”
Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum, December 6, 2011

At a San Diego AIPAC summit in 2009, Gov. Romney told supporters that “most of all, I was impressed with the people of Israel. That people actually immigrate to Israel, rather than fleeing from the threatening and violent neighborhood of the Middle East, is a testament to their courage, faith and character. It is an inspiration to an often self-indulgent world.”
The Boston Globe, October 19, 2009.

America and Israel share common values of representative democracy, human rights, rule of law, learning, scholarship and free inquiry, and fight similar ills of terrorism, oppression and authoritarianism. “We know that Israel is America’s most ardent ally in the Middle East,” Gov. Romney said.
The Competent Conservative, October 19, 2009.

Het Palestijnse terrorisme

“Well, the reason that there’s not peace between the Palestinians and Israel is because there is — in the leadership of the Palestinian people are Hamas and others who think like Hamas, who have as their intent the elimination of Israel. And whether it’s in school books that teach how to kill Jews, or whether it’s in the political discourse that is spoken either from Fatah or from Hamas, there is a belief that the Jewish people do not have a right to have a Jewish state.”
Republican Presidential Debate in Florida, January 26, 2012

“I want every country in the region that harbors aggressive designs against Israel to understand that their ambition is futile and that pursuing it will cost them dearly.”
Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum, December 7, 2011

“The United States will reduce assistance to the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction.”
Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Strategy: In Short, October 7, 2011

Romney asked Arab states to stop funding weapons for terror, namely Hamas and Hezbollah, and instead pressure the Palestinians to expunge terrorism and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Romney strongly supports the security barrier between Israel and the West Bank.
2012 Presidential Candidates, 2011.

De Palestijnse eenzijdige onafhankelijkheidsverklaring

“With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mitt Romney will reject any measure that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He will make clear to the Palestinians that the unilateral attempt to decide issues that are designated for final negotiations is unacceptable.”
Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Strategy: In Short, October 7, 2011

“What we are watching unfold at the United Nations is an unmitigated diplomatic disaster. It is the culmination of President Obama’s repeated efforts over three years to throw Israel under the bus and undermine its negotiating position. That policy must stop now. In his speech to the U.N. this week, President Obama must unequivocally reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel and its continued existence as a Jewish state. And he must make clear that if the Palestinian Authority succeeds in gaining any type of U.N. recognition, the United States will cut foreign assistance to the Palestinians, as well as re-evaluate its funding of U.N. programs and its relationship with any nation voting in favor of recognition. Actions that compromise the interests of the United States, our allies, and all those who desire a lasting peace must have consequences.”
Romney for President, September 20, 2011.

Israël en de Verenigde Staten

“The best way to have peace in the Middle East is not for us to vacillate and to appease, but is to say, we stand with our friend Israel. We are committed to a Jewish state in Israel. We will not have an inch of difference between ourselves and our ally, Israel.”
Republican Presidential Debate in Florida, January 26, 2012

“The right course is to show that we care about Israel, that they are our friend, we’ll stick with them. If I’m president of the United States, my first trip — my first foreign trip will be to Israel to show the world we care about that country and that region.”
Republican Presidential Debate in Washington, D.C., November 22, 2011

“I believe our relationship with Israel, a nation which shares our values and is our best friend in the Middle East, should be of support and confidence rather than criticism and blame.”
Interview with Israel daily newspaper Israel Hayom, October 28, 2011

On October 6, 2011, “Romney published a list of his foreign policy advisers, including many who have been active in or are close to the pro-Israel community, such as Norm Coleman, the former U.S. senator from Minnesota who is now active with the Republican Jewish Coalition; Dan Senor, the co-author of a book on Israeli technological innovation who often works with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; and Dov Zakheim, a former top Pentagon official in various Republican administrations who also is active with the American Jewish Committee.”
– Ron Kampeas, “Romney’s Jewish backers enjoying front-runner status, even as challenges continue from his right,” Jewish Journal, October 11, 2011.

“I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination… I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.”
Mitt Romney’s Remarks on U.S. Foreign Policy, October 7, 2011

“Israel is the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East but its security problems are heightened in these times. In his first 100 days, Mitt Romney will reaffirm as a vital U.S. national interest the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. To ensure Israel’s security, Mitt Romney will work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge. The U.S. will work intensively with Turkey and Egypt to shore up the now fraying relationships with Israel that have underpinned peace in the Middle East for decades.”
Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Strategy: In Short, October 7, 2011

QUESTION: As president, how would you approach the new reality in the Middle East, specifically with regards to our ally, Israel, and the existential threats it faces from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and now the Palestinian Authority?

ROMNEY: Very simple. You start off by saying that you don’t allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and your allies. The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America. He — he addressed the United Nations in his inaugural address and chastised our friend, Israel, for building settlements and said nothing about Hamas launching thousands of rockets into Israel. Just before Bibi Netanyahu came to the United States, he threw Israel under the bus, tried to negotiate for Israel. The right course — if you disagree with an ally, you talk about it privately. But in public, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your allies. The right course for us… The right course for us is not to try and negotiate for Israel. The right course is to stand behind our friends, to listen to them, and to let the entire world know that we will stay with them and that we will support them and defend them.”
Republican Presidential debate in Florida, September 22, 2011

Over Iran

“In a Romney administration, the world will know … that our opposition to a nuclear Iran is absolute. We must not allow Iran to have the bomb or the capacity to make a bomb. Our enemies should never doubt our resolve … ”
Remarks to the 2012 AIPAC Policy Conference, March 6, 2012

“I recognize in the ayatollahs of Iran the zealot refrain of dominion. Their passion for the martyrdom of Arab youth is matched only by their cowardice in avoiding it for themselves. Nuclear ambition is pursued by Iran to dominate, to subjugate, and to obliterate. A nuclear Iran is not only a problem for Israel; it is also a problem for America and the world.”
Remarks to the 2012 AIPAC Policy Conference, March 6, 2012

“As for Iran in particular, I will take every measure necessary to check the evil regime of the ayatollahs. Until Iran ceases its nuclear-bomb program, I will press for ever-tightening sanctions, acting with other countries if we can but alone if we must. I will speak out on behalf of the cause of democracy in Iran and support Iranian dissidents who are fighting for their freedom. I will make clear that America’s committment to Israel’s security and survival is absolute.”
– Mitt Romney, “How I would check Iran’s nuclear ambition,” Washington Post, March 5, 2012

“The greatest threat Israel faces and, frankly, the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran…I don’t trust the ayatollahs, and I don’t trust [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad…I will do everything in my power to assure that Iran doesn’t become a nuclear nation [and] threaten Israel, threaten us and threaten the entire world.”
Romney Meet and Greet in Iowa, December 28, 2011

“Ultimately, regime change is what’s going to be necessary.”
Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum, December 6, 2011

“I would not meet with Ahmadinejad. He should be excluded from diplomatic society. He should be indicted for the crime of incitement to genocide under Article III of the Genocide Convention. Iran’s ayatollahs will not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons on my watch. A nuclear-armed Iran is not only a threat to Israel, it is a threat to the entire world. Our friends must never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. Our enemies should never doubt our resolve.”
Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum, December 6, 2011

“We have a president who pursued an agenda of saying we’re going to be friendly to our foes and we’re going to be disrespectful to our friends.

The right course in America is to stand up to Iran with crippling sanctions, indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Genocide Convention, put in place the kind of crippling sanctions that stop their economy. I know it’s going to make gasoline more expensive. There’s no price which is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon.”
Republican Presidential Debate in Washington, D.C., November 22, 2011

If “crippling sanctions” failed to block Iran’s nuclear ambitions; “if all else fails, if after all of the work we’ve done, there’s nothing else we could do besides take military action,” Romney said he would direct US forces to pre-emptively strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. If you elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon”
Republican Presidential Debate in South Carolina, November 13, 2011

“Si vis pacem, para bellum. That is a Latin phrase, but the ayatollahs will have no trouble understanding its meaning from a Romney administration: If you want peace, prepare for war … I want peace. And if I am president, I will begin by imposing a new round of far tougher economic sanctions on Iran. I will do this together with the world if we can, unilaterally if we must. I will speak out forcefully on behalf of Iranian dissidents. I will back up American diplomacy with a very real and very credible military option. I will restore the regular presence of aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously. I will increase military assistance to Israel and coordination with all of our allies in the region. These actions will send an unequivocal signal to Iran that the United States, acting in concert with allies, will never permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons … Only when the ayatollahs no longer have doubts about America’s resolve will they abandon their nuclear ambitions.”
– Mitt Romney, “I Won’t Let Iran Get Nukes,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2011.

“Weakness begets adventurism, and the president has shown weakness by extending his hand for a summit in his first year of office with Ahmadinejad only to have it slapped down. By being silent as protesters took to the streets in Iran, by not establishing crippling sanctions against Iran for their nuclear program, and by not mouthing a credible military threat to their ongoing nuclear program. The right course is for the president to declare that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable to America, and to punctuate that commitment. I have called for us to deploy two aircraft carrier task forces, one to the gulf, one to the Mediterranean to communicate our resolve in that regard.”
Interview with Israel daily newspaper Israel Hayom, October 28, 2011

“And with regards to Iran, which perhaps represents the greatest existential threat to Israel, we have to make it abundantly clear: It is unacceptable — and I take those — that word carefully — it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation.”
Republican Presidential debate in Florida, September 22, 2011

Over President Obama’s politiek tav Israël

“I think that the president badly misunderstood the role of an ally. I think because Obama thought that if he drew closer to the Palestinians that would somehow encourage the peace process. My view is that he threw Israel under the bus by laying out his view of the policies he thought Israel should adopt in the piece process. I believe that the role of an ally is to stand behind your friends and let them speak for themselves, rather than be spoken for by the United States of America. I believe our relationship with Israel, a nation which shares our values and is our best friend in the Middle East, should be of support and confidence rather than criticism and blame. The president got off on the wrong foot by speaking before the United Nations and criticizing Israel for building settlements and saying nothing about the Palestinians launching thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel, as well as calling on Israel to accept the 1967 borders, which are unquestionably indefensible. This was an act not befitting a friend and ally.”
Interview with Israel daily newspaper Israel Hayom, October 28, 2011

Het Israëlisch-Palestijns vredesproces

“There are some people who say, should we have a two-state solution? And the Israelis would be happy to have a two-state solution. It’s the Palestinians who don’t want a two-state solution. They want to eliminate the state of Israel.”
Republican Presidential Debate in Florida, January 26, 2012

Politieke adviseurs voor het Buitenland

In addition to his personal views, Mitt Romney must draw upon a wide array of expertise to create a coherent and capable foreign policy, and the use of special advisory teams are an important asset for this purpose. In order to truly evaluate his agenda, it is therefore crucial to take these teams of foreign policy and national security advisers into account. Below is a list of Romney’s foreign policy team for issues affecting Israel and the Middle East.


  • Eric Edelman: Hertog Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2005-2009); Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (2001-2003)
  • Robert Joseph: Senior Scholar, Nat’l Institute for Public Policy; Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2005-2007)
  • Stephen Rademaker: Principal at Podesta Group; Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation (2002-2006); Policy Director for National Security Affairs and Senior Counsel to Senator Bill Frist (2006-2007)


  • Michael Chertoff: Chairman of the Chertoff Group; Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009); Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003-2005)
  • Michael Hayden: Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009); Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005)


  • John Lehman: Chairman and Founding Partner, J.F. Lehman & Co.; National Security Advisory Council for the Center for Security Policy; Secretary of the Navy (1981-1987); Member of the 9/11 Commission
  • Roger Zakheim: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (2008-2009)

Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika:

  • Mary Beth Long: Founder and Owner of M B Long and Associates, PLLC, and Metis Solutions, LLC; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (2007-2009)
  • Meghan O’Sullivan: Lecturer at Kennedy School of Government; Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan (2004-2007)
  • Walid Phares: Co-Secretary General, Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism; Professor of Middle East Studies and Author; Task Force for Future Terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security (2006-2007)

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