Gorenberg Finds Romney Incompetent On Israel

Mitt Romney and Whalid Phares— by David Streeter

Israeli author Gershom Gorenberg wrote about what he described as the potentially negative consequences posed for Israel by the worldviews of most of the remaining Republican presidential candidates in his latest article for The American Prospect. Gorenberg wrote:

These candidates would love Israel to death. What’s scary is not just that any Republican from the class of 2012 is likely to replace Barack Obama’s uneven support for Israeli-Palestinian peace with the George W. Bush-style malignant neglect. It’s not just that the Middle East as a whole is downstream from America: Our region gets swamped by the mistakes made in Washington. What’s really scary is that the way that Republicans-including Ron Paul-talk and act about Israel shows that their grasp of world affairs ranges between incompetent and delusional.

In particular, regarding former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, he wrote:

Besides the long lineup of veterans of George W. Bush’s administration-the folks who brought you the war in Iraq, among other gifts-there’s also a name that appears both as “special adviser” to Romney and co-chair of his Middle East working group: Walid Phares.

In the best case, this shows that Romney didn’t try hard to vet his advisers. The Lebanese-born Phares has made a reputation since arriving in the United States as an anti-terror expert. But as Mother Jones journalist Adam Serwer revealed in a damning exposé, Phares had an earlier career as a top ideologue of the Lebanese Forces, the Christian militia whose part in Lebanon’s civil war included carrying out the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre…. Let’s say that Romney knew nothing of Phares’s past. In American policy discussion, Phares has been one of the salesmen of a conflict of civilizations, of the West against monochromatic Islam. This is close to the ultimate oversimplification of global policy and of Middle East policy in particular. Phares is still named on Romney’s website in the list of advisers-the likely source of appointees if the candidate becomes president.