The U.S. presidential election is looming, and it is an issue that Israel is keeping a close eye on. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the city of Jerusalem and said that the U.S. has an obligation to back Israel in every way possible against the threat of Iran acquiring nukes.
Romney’s stance may make him more of a desirable candidate for Jews living in the U.S. While President Obama has stated that Israel has the right to defend itself, he has hesitated to include whether military option would be considered. Instead, his policy was focused more on diplomacy and sanctions in stopping Iran.
Romney’s foreign policy advisor, Dan Senor has made statements suggesting that a Romney administration would aid Israel in a military strike if all else fails. Romney also took jabs at the democrats for being too soft in its stance against Iran.
During his visit, Romney also referred to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which drew the applause of those present for his speech. Obama has been criticized in the past for his refusal to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Some suspect that this is out of fear of offending the Palestinians.
Romney’s visit included a conference with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. His stop also included a pilgrimage to the Western Wall where he inserted a note inside a crack.
Romney and the Prime Minister have actually worked together as partners at a consulting firm in Boston back in the ‘70s. It is unknown whether this will play a pivotal role in who Netanyahu supports during the U.S. election. However, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, insists that there is no favoritism involved here. He also added that Israel does not have any leanings one away or the other over who takes over the White House in the November election.