— by Ira Forman
During the CNN Republican debate on Thursday, in Jacksonville, Florida, an audience member asked the candidates how a GOP administration would help bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Romney answered with a critique of the President’s support for Israel, saying that he “went before the United Nations and … [h]e said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained on Israel from the Gaza Strip.”
Take one look at how strongly President Obama condemned the rocket attacks on Israel in his address to the U.N. General Assembly in September. He said:
Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.
The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.
And he didn’t just say that in September. Here’s what he said to the U.N. General Assembly back in 2009:
We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It’s not paid by politicians. It’s paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the middle of the night. It’s paid for by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own.
President Obama has defended Israel’s interests over and over again, and Jewish leaders both here and there have noticed. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called the President’s support for Israel “a badge of honor.” Ehud Barak has said President Obama is “ready to undertake the fiercest of political risks to his survival in order to make good on what he believes in.”
But to Mitt Romney, it seems like the facts here are irrelevant. He’ll say anything to get elected, regardless of what’s true.