— by David A. Harris
It’s great to see that Mitt Romney has traveled to Israel, following in then-Senator Barack Obama’s footsteps. But when it comes to who pro-Israel voters will choose, one candidate — Mitt Romney — has a record of rhetoric, whereas the other, the president has an unprecedented record of achievement.
Some say talk is cheap, but this president has gone before the audiences most hostile to Israel — including the United Nations — and proudly defended his support for Israel, and Israel’s legitimacy, on the world stage. In fact his last UN speech was so powerful that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Obama’s support for Israel “a badge of honor, and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor.”
But actions speak louder than words. This president has sent more financial support to Israel than any other, including unprecedented additional support for missile defense; he has taken security cooperation to new heights; and he’s stood strongly against a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood at the UN. In fact this is the only president since Israel’s founding with a 100% pro-Israel voting record at the UN. From unparalleled diplomatic support for the Jewish State to unrivaled support for her qualitative military edge, the facts speak volumes. And on Iran, no president has ever done more, levying crushing sanctions, gathering a global coalition and repeatedly making clear that all options are on the table.
But what I say is less important than what Israel’s leaders say. Whether it’s President Shimon Peres noting that “we have a friend in the White House,” or Prime Minister Netanyahu saying “I trust Barack Obama” and “We owe him a special measure of gratitude,” these leaders’ praise speaks volumes. This is not the usual diplomatic-speak; these comments speak to the truth of the current situation. Today, the U.S.-Israel relationship is closer than ever thanks to this president. That’s a fact.