In last night’s debate, Mitt Romney said:
“The president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel.”
This quote is from an article in the Tampa Bay Times:
Mitt Romney frequently criticizes President Barack Obama’s stance on Israel, saying the president doesn’t hold the Jewish state in a tight enough embrace.
“The president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel,” Romney said in a foreign policy-focused debate, the final one of the presidential election.
We decided to dig into the origin of that statement and check whether Romney’s characterization is accurate.
What Obama (reportedly) said
The “daylight” comment stems from a July 15, 2012, story in the Washington Post about a meeting Obama held in 2009 with several Jewish leaders. The meeting was closed to the press, and there is no transcript of what was said. The Post story was based on interviews with people in the meeting.
Here’s the relevant excerpt:
“If you want Israel to take risks, then its leaders must know that the United States is right next to them,” Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told the president.
Obama politely but firmly disagreed.
“Look at the past eight years,” he said, referring to the George W. Bush administration’s relationship with Israel. “During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”
The White House does not confirm that Obama said those words. There also has been no explicit denial.
Meanwhile, a reader of my blog gave this link to an article in which Henry Kissinger reportedly said that, in 10 years, Israel will no longer exist.
Will Obama’s policies toward Israel cause that to happen? Will Obama let Iran get a nuclear weapon that will “wipe Israel off the map”?
Mitt Romney is a personal friend of Netanyahu and he has a great love for Israel. If he becomes president, will he start a war to protect Israel?