Romney: Obama Has Thrown Israel “Under The Bus”


romney-obamaMitt Romney today accused President Obama of having “thrown Israel under the bus” during a major foreign policy speech on the Middle East.

In his remarks, Mr. Obama called for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine and argued that Israel’s 1967 borders should roughly guide the formation of a Palestinian state, though some land could be swapped. He also said that, following an agreement, Israel should begin to phase out the presence of its forces from the West Bank.

Romney, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said Obama had breached a “first principal of American foreign policy” by suggesting the shift.

“President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus,” Romney said. “He has disrespected Israel and undermined its ability to negotiate peace. He has also violated a first principle of American foreign policy, which is to stand firm by our friends.”

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who is headed to Washington on Friday for a meeting with Mr. Obama, also rejected the president’s position, saying in a statement following Mr. Obama’s speech that a return to his country’s 1967 borders would spell disaster for the Jewish state. (Netanyahu will also speak at a conference for the pro-Israel lobbyist group AIPAC while he is in Washington, and Mr. Obama plans to speak to the group Sunday. AIPAC declined to comment for this story.)
Netanyahu said via Facebook on Thursday that he “expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004” – including “Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.”

While the 1967 borders have been a frequent point of discussion in previous peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, some say Mr. Obama’s comments reflect the strongest endorsement of those borders by a U.S. president.

“This is the first clear statement by an American president that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed territorial swaps,” former Rep. Robert Wexler, of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, told Politico.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Mr. Obama’s call for renewed peace talks reflected the administration’s “confused and dangerous foreign policy.”

“Today, President Obama renewed the backing of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and called for a Palestinian state, again,” Santorum said in a statement Thursday afternoon, “This, at a time when the Palestinian Authority and Hamas just forged a new alliance. The current Administration needs to come to terms with its confused and dangerous foreign policy soon, as clarity and security are the necessary conditions of any serious and coherent American set of policies.”

And Tim Pawlenty, another GOP presidential candidate, called the proposal to return to 1967 lines a “mistaken and very dangerous demand.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, meanwhile, argued that Mr. Obama’s plan “undermines our special relationship with Israel and weakens our ally’s ability to defend itself.”

“The President’s habit of drawing a moral equivalence between the actions of the Palestinians and the Israelis while assessing blame for the conflict is, in and of itself, harmful to the prospect for peace,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some Jewish donors have warned the president’s re-election campaign that he is at risk of losing their support as a result of what is being read as an overly tough stance on Israel.

“One top Democratic fund-raiser, Miami developer Michael Adler, said he urged Obama campaign manager Jim Messina to be ‘extremely proactive’ in countering the perception in the Jewish community that Mr. Obama is too critical of Israel,” writes the WSJ’s Laura Meckler.

A number of Jewish groups have responded positively to Mr. Obama’s remarks – particularly in light of his comments calling for a non-militarized Palestinian state and denouncing Palestinian efforts “to delegitimize Israel.”

“We support the President’s vision of a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement with strong security provisions for Israel, and a non-militarized Palestinian state,” said the Anti-Defamation League’s Robert Sugarman and Abraham Foxman. “We appreciate his direct rejection of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and his understanding that the Hamas-Fatah agreement poses major problems for Israel.”

David Harris, the Executive Director of the American Jewish committee, also praised the call for revived negotiations.

“President Obama has sternly warned the Palestinians, and the international community, to stop this senseless drive to try to achieve a state without any negotiated agreement with Israel,” he said on Thursday. “The parameters of a two-state solution are just as clear today as they were when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walked away from the peace talks last September…The Palestinians must return now to close the deal.”

J Street, a pro-Israel, pro-peace organization, added that it “wholeheartedly endorses” the president’s proposal.

“[Mr. Obama] is correct in saying that Israel will only find security through granting the Palestinian people their freedom, and the Palestinian people will only achieve freedom if Israel finds security,” said J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami in a Thursday statement.

And Noah Pollak, the executive director for the Emergency Committee for Israel, said via Twitter that Mr. Obama’s remarks should come as no shock to Netanyahu.

“I don’t think there’s anything in this speech that Netanyahu will find surprising or even disagreeable,” he Tweeted.

“If someone had said to me yesterday, ‘you’ll be defending Obama on Israel tomorrow’ I would have laughed,” Pollak added.

{Politico Hotsheet CBS/ Newscenter}


  1. What Obama said is o so confusing, and well something new and different to what any American President ever said before, I guess we’re in for change, isn’t that the platform he ran on? But it doesnt spell good for our sisters and brothers in Eretz Yisroel, Hashem is still protectio us, regardless what Obama says or does

  2. Everyone here should read the Bush Road Map. What Obama said today is little different from what was put out by Bush in 2003. Agree or disagree, there is no US policy change here.

  3. Eric Cantor and Huckabee are different in this manner. Huckabee is fed his lines and probably doesn’t knowing that what he says is not true, while Eric Cantor knows exactly that what he says is not true. When GW Bush and his secretaries of state said the same things and presided over the Olmert offer to Abbas of all of the West Bank except the 3 blocs, as well as the full offer of East Jerusalem, as attested to by GW Bush and Olmert in their books, Eric Cantor was not to be found criticizing it even ex post facto. He never criticized BUSH For the roadmap and annapolis.

    This is just misleading the American people which Cantor loves to do as evidenced by the frequency with which he does so.

    Secondly, Obama stated no position that wasnt created by Bush and Cheney as they created a roadmap with Arab countries ( excluding Israel) – in the middle of the intifada after 911.
    Nothing Obama mentioned today – 67 borders with adjustments of the large blos of settlements is any different than GW Bush in all his 8 glorious years of effectively running the United States.

    Ronald Reagan of course was before all of that and the PLO wasnt even recognized as a representative of the Palestinians until Ronald Reagan -seeking a nobel prize – publicly declared official U.S. Foreign Policy to be that Yassir Arafat and the PLO were the sole representatives of the Palestinian people. This was a fitting conclusion to Ronald Reagan saving the PLO from what would have been their and Arafats demise

    Nothing Obama said today exceeds the Olmert /GW Bush offer according to what GW Bush and Olmert tell us in writing was the offer- which included all of East Jer. and all settlements outside of the 3 main settlement blocs

    The media and the politicians ought to have the dignity of not fictionalizing the news.

    and the republicans ought not mislead Americans by complaining as Eric Cantor did that Obama is endangering Israel. It is a vile thing for Eric Cantor and Huckabee to say. Eric Cantor is the 2nd highest man in the House of Reps

  4. I think the differences between Obamas speech and method and Bushs is so clear, that you have to be blind not to see it.

  5. Student:

    Obama’s proposal: An Israeli state and a Palestinian state, with borders based on the 1967 lines, modified by mutual land swaps, with status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees to be worked out.

    Bush’s proposal: An Israeli state and a Palestinian state, with borders based on the 1967 lines, modified by mutual land swaps, with status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees to be worked out.

    Clinton’s proposal: An Israeli state and a Palestinian state, with borders based on the 1967 lines, modified by mutual land swaps, with status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees to be worked out.

    Who’s blind here?

  6. I do agree with Charlie Hall that there is no chidush here because the policy that Obama has outlined is quite the same as Arafat’s policy.

  7. Oh how quick they are to condemn!!!!!!!
    If Israel is asked to go back to the 1967 borders, Israel should be permitted to ask for something in its place. I suggest that Israel could ask for the Temple Mount to be returned to the Jewish people and that the Dome of the Rock be disassembled. Personally, I think that Israel would be stronger if we had the Temple Mount and our people would not look back. But that said, its just a matter of how much arab emotions are involved in keeping a structure on the Holiest site for the Jewish people.