Romney to visit Isreal this Summer.
Mitt Romney has promised to visit Israel in first foreign visit after inaugurated as the 45th President of the united States. Yet, it looks like Romney has decided to follow the advice of various Jewish groups, that have called on the Republican nominee to visit Israel during the election season, which would be first and foremost a significant bi-partisan boost to the US-Israel relationship, and politically would help Romney with the Jewish vote in the battleground states.
As reported first by the New York Times, and confirmed by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s senior advisor, Romney is expected to visit Israel this summer following trip to the Olympic games in London, and meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
“Mr. Romney, who has pledged to “do the opposite” of the Obama administration on matters pertaining to Israel, is also expected to meet with Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority; President Shimon Peres of Israel; the American ambassador, Daniel B. Shapiro; and leaders of the opposition Labor Party in Jerusalem. He plans to have at least one public event in a trip that will likely last less than two days.
“He’s a strong friend of Israel and we’ll be happy to meet with him,” said Ron Dermer, Mr. Netanyahu’s senior adviser, who worked with Republicans in the United States before immigrating here. “We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we’re sure it will only deepen that.”
For Mr. Romney, the trip is an opportunity to appeal both to Jewish voters and donors, whose overwhelming support of President Obama has softened, according to some polls, and to evangelical Christians, whose trust he is still fighting to win. At the March conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby known as Aipac, Mr. Romney vowed that Israel would be the destination of his first foreign trip as president, underscoring the fact that Mr. Obama has not visited here since his election, a sore spot among some Israel supporters.
While the visit could distract from the Republicans’ main line of attack against Mr. Obama, the economy, it is an opportunity for Mr. Romney, who as a former governor has little foreign policy experience, to play the statesman.
Mr. Dermer said the men would probably meet over a meal at the prime minister’s residence, though details have not yet been decided.
“The prime minister meets Democratic and Republican officials alike,” he said. “I’m sure they want to broadcast a very strong relationship with Israel, and Israel wants to broadcast a very strong bipartisan relationship with both sides of the aisle.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) applauded Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision to visit Israel this summer and meet with Israeli leaders, in a press release this afternoon.
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “Having hosted Gov. Romney on a previous visit to Israel in 2007, the RJC knows firsthand how strong his commitment is to the Jewish homeland and we are thrilled that he will reinforce that commitment at this important time.”
While the visit will illustrate the stark diffrerences between Gov. Romney and President Obama, in terms of the relationship with Israel, and by large, the U.S. foreign policy approach, it will certainly drive registerd voters, currently residing in Israel to cast their absentee ballots in support of Romney, especially if it is a close race.
Having done that will definetly boost Romney foreign policy credentials. Nonetheless, the right investment, and the nessecary attention has to be shifted and directed at the Jewish community in New York.
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