Monday, October 19, 2009

Republican and possible '12 contender for President Mitt Romney stands up for Israel: UN has become a forum for invective against the Jewish state

( to buff up his foreign policy credentials and reaching out to Israel's supporters, Mitt Romney is telling a major pro-Israel group today that he is "very concerned" by the Obama administration's Mideast policy.

"In pursuit of a peace process, the United States today has exerted substantial pressure on Israel while putting almost no pressure on the Palestinians and the Arab world," the former Massachusetts governor, 2008 Republican presidential hopeful, and possible 2012 contender said to the AIPAC national summit in San Diego.

Obama has been pushing for a renewal of negotiations toward a comprehensive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority -- and has been pressuring Israel to stop expanding settlements on the West Bank.

But saying that America and Israel are "bound together by common commitments and shared values," Romney says US policy should recognize that.

"Inexplicably, the United States now places the burden on Israel to make still more unilateral concessions," he said. "At the United Nations, we decried the building of new Israeli settlements but ignored the launching of Palestinian rockets. How is this possible? Have we not yet learned from the concessions in Gaza, as well as from all recorded history, that giving in to the demands of oppressors always and only leads to more demands, not to peace?

"We can encourage both parties in the conflict, but we must never forget which one is our ally. Nor must we forget that Hamas, like other violent Jihadists, does not have a two-state solution as its objective—it has the conquest and annihilation of Israel as its objective. The notion that Hamas and violent Jihadists are motivated by 'shared interests' and 'common goals' is naïve in the extreme and dangerous to the entire free world."

Romney also inveighs against the United Nations, which is about to consider a report accusing Israel of war crimes during its assault in Gaza, saying it "has become a forum for invective against the Jewish state."

And Romney urged a hard line against Iran's nuclear ambitions and warned against Obama's desire for talks.

"At this late stage I would simply say that it is long past time for America to recognize the nature of the regime we are dealing with," he said. "The Iranian regime is unalloyed evil, run by people who are at once ruthless and fanatical. Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It will not. And agreements, unenforceable and unverifiable, will have no greater impact here than they did in North Korea. Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence."