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On Israel visit, Romney talks the talk, but stumbles the walk

On a trip to Israel 100 days before the US elections, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney warmed Israeli hearts by stating positions that leave very little daylight between Washington and Jerusalem, the latter, as he clearly stated, being Israel’s capital [as opposed to Obama White House press secretary James Carney who would not commit to that.]

There would be no public disagreements between Israel and a Romney administration, stopping Iran’s nuclear program should be THE top US national security issue, and as President he would “stand by Israel” if and when it chooses to exercise its legitimate right to self-defense.

Those were the salient points, and the main message, of the Republican candidate. This is the important stuff. While perhaps less important in substance, the following gaffes by Romney’s team here in Israel point to, simply put, bad management on his part. Within 24 hours of his visit, Romney’s camp has made some egregious errors:

1. Closes fundraiser to media, gets blasted by media, and then opens it to the media again. What was the point of closing the event to the media in the first place? Everything would have leaked out anyway. This is Israel folks…

2. Has his foreign policy advisor say he “would respect” unilateral Israeli strike on Iran; has to backtrack on that, sending out a clarification and rolling the comment back on CBS. Romney either didn’t know what Dan Senor was going to say on his behalf [which is bad] and Senor is not coordinating his positions with his boss, or Romney did know, let it happen, and then got spooked [which is also very bad].

3. Cancels meeting at the last minute with Shelly Yechimovich, head of the Labor party, even though he knew full well that she was no longer Leader of the Opposition when the meeting was scheduled. His advisors don’t give a satisfactory reason for the cancellation, two hours before it was scheduled to take place. Now the Labor party is using this as a stick to hit Netanyahu over the head with, accusing the Prime Minister’s Office of being behind the cancellation, as the message came straight out of the PMO. Instead of staying above the political fray, Romney let himself become a pawn in intra-Israeli politics. Romney could have called Shelly and postponed, apologized, cancelled, explained, or whatever. You don’t keep a lady waiting. And you certainly don’t stand her up and not send flowers.

4. Due to overbooking, miscalculation and miscommunication, aides are forced to cancel dozens of invitations sent out for people to attend his speech in Jerusalem. Some are only told of their cancellations after waiting in line to get into the venue. Some invitees leave in dejection.

5. Creates confusion, panic and uproar amongst Israeli media when they find out that only two news organizations are invited to his speech at the Jerusalem Foundation. Just hours before the speech, it is made known that all media are now invited.

6. And lastly, in a speech to Jewish donors in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, Romney said that the difference between the GDP of Israeli and Palestinians was down to the latter’s culture. Now he may not have meant it in a racist way, but that’s how it played to many, and again forced his campaign to issue a clarification.

All in just 24 hours.

So while Romney seems to have a firm grasp on his central message to Israel, he definitely needs to tighten his hold on his employees and associates. Romney must be hoping that his message of support for Israel drowns out the shenanigans of his minions.

0 thoughts on “On Israel visit, Romney talks the talk, but stumbles the walk

  1. Looking at his visit spiritually, one who knows not Joseph nor Joseph’s Birthright as Mormons believe the inheritance of Joseph is in America, who is a disciple of Joseph 156 Smith 510 =666, who in turn divined the Book of Mormon using a seer stone given to him by an angel of light, came to Israel to sow seeds of thievery, death and destruction.

    He gave no comment on whether he would continue the U.S. State Department position of pressing Israel to cede the Birthright of Joseph as part of a Palestinian state, even though asked three times by Philip Weiss if he believed Israel was entitled to “annex the West Bank.” The continued usurpation of the Birthright of Joseph is the formula for continued curses — especially in the economic arena — for the United States and all nations who back a Palestinian state in Judea-Samaria.

    Romney showed a tremendous lack of judgment seeking to gain political mileage by openly declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Although the Clinton Administration earlier declared this, it is not something upon which the US insists because of the connection to anti-Zionist sentiment and 911.

    (The day after 911, then President George W. Bush stated his support of a Palestinian state according to the pre-1967 borders after the FBI announced that the blood money paid to assassinate the late Rabbi Meir Kahane came from Osama bin Laden. This established the link between Yasser Arafat, who had requested bin Laden to take out Kahane, the leading proponent of transferring the Palestinian population out of Judea-Samaria. Bush knew to head off more 911 style attacks, he must publicly embrace the Palestinian state according to the pre-1967 lines. And so on 912, this was the first order of business.

    Romney displays an incredible ignorance and insensitivity to the political scenario in the Middle East and his brazen bragging that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital — before a capital is established for the Palestinian state — is a means to stir up hostiliy between Israelis and Palestinians and once again involve the United States.

    Meanwhile the Obama Administration continue its policy of silent but forceful support for America’s No. 1 ally in the Middle East. Like King Hussein of Jordan, President Obama is a close friend of Israel but can also be a friend from a distance and not openly to aovid making the U.S. and its citizenry another 911 style target … for the same reason as the first attacks.

    Just as Romney bragged about meeting with Britain’s MI6, a serious security breach in international parlance, he again exercises poor judgment in using the declaration of Israel’s capital for political mileage … on the anniversary of the destruction of both Jerusalem Temples.

    .

  2. “Looking at his visit spiritually, one who knows not Joseph nor Joseph’s Birthright as Mormons believe the inheritance of Joseph is in America, who is a disciple of Joseph 156 Smith 510 =666, who in turn divined the Book of Mormon using a seer stone given to him by an angel of light, came to Israel to sow seeds of thievery, death and destruction.”

    I’d like to suggest something, and only because I really genuinely care about people: you really, really, need to stop taking acid.

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