It is far too easily forgotten that, in 1992, Bill Clinton ran against George H.W. Bush from the right on Israel. Bush had opposed a $10 billion loan guarantee program for Israel on the basis that the money could be used to further continue settlement construction in the West Bank and Gaza, which peaked at 7,750 new homes per annum at the fag end of the hardline Shamir administration. By August 1992, Bush relented. But the damage was done: his share of the Jewish vote collapsed from 35 percent in the victorious 1988 election to an abysmal 12 percent in 1992, a ballot he lost.
Now Mitt Romney – who is due to arrival in Israel on Sunday to fundraise and later dine with Benjamin Netanyahu at the breaking of the fast for Tisha B’Av – is Xeroxing the Clinton playbook, attacking Obama for having “thrown Israel under the bus,” to use his favorite refrain. Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Reno, Nevada on Tuesday that the “people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the President of the United States.”
In his platform, Romney pillories Obama for having “repeatedly and unilaterally created new preconditions for restarting peace talks,” and for believing that “distancing the United States from Israel was a smart move that would earn us credits in the Arab world and somehow bring peace closer.” Rather, he says, the United States “needs a president who will not be a fair-weather friend of Israel” for she is America’s “closest ally in the Middle East and a beacon of democracy and freedom in the region.” The intent is clear: Romney wishes to make Obama appear weak on Israel in order to nibble away at the Jewish vote, one of the latter’s strongest and most steadfast bases of support during his transformative 2008 electoral campaign.
Read more: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/on-israel-exposing-romneys-dirty-tricks/