Review of Obama, Romney Election Campaigns: Everything in Favor of Israel
Monday, August 06, 2012
Seyed Mehdi Madani
When The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy was published by two prominent American professors of international relations, that is, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, its content evoked a lot of criticism. The book focuses on the role of the Jewish lobbies in determining general orientation of the US foreign policy and the reason behind the United States’ unbridled support for Israel. The authors had noted that the Israeli lobby had played a key role in convincing Washington to launch its military attack on Iraq as well as to trigger a psychological war against Iran and Syria. That lobby has been also influential in bringing about the war between Israel and Lebanon in 2006. The book also claims that such Jewish organizations as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), American Jewish Committee, and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations form the core of the Israeli lobby in the United States. The authors have noted that such organizations are under the control of radical political forces that are in line with expansionist policies of Israel’s Likud Party and at odds with Oslo Peace Accord with Palestinians.
The authors maintained that during the past 25 years, the Israeli lobby has infiltrated a number of the most important US research and study centers such as the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institute, Center for Security Policy, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute and so forth, and plays a determining role in setting direction of those institutions. Another remarkable allegation by the two professors is that the Israeli lobby has powerful connections with such influential figures as Gary Lee Bauer – American politician notable for his ties to several evangelical Christian groups and campaigns –, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reid, and Pat Robertson, in addition to such neocon figures as John Bolton, William Bennett, and John Kirkpatrick. A backward glance and a cursory review of the performance of the American presidents as well as the current presidential candidates will provide good evidence in favor of this claim.
Election Campaigns and Recourse to Israel
While election competition between the incumbent President Barack Obama and the Republican hopeful, Mitt Romney, has entered a new phase, both candidates are doing their best to get closer to Israel and also to win the votes of Jewish people living in the United States (about 5 million). One of them talks about “humiliation of Israel” under Obama and promises to cooperate more with Israel on Iran. The other one, however, signs a new Congress law in a public ceremony so as to win the hearts of the American Jews.
Mitt Romney, the archrival of Obama, embarked on an important journey to meet with his age-old close friend and the current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The ground for the trip had already been laid by Romney in an address to the US Army veterans in Nevada State a week earlier. During that address, he noted that President Obama has “weakened” and even “humiliated” Israel, noting that Israel is the most important and the closest of US allies which deserves better treatment by Washington.
One of the main advisors to Mitt Romney told the mass media last week that should Israel launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Romney would support it. “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that [nuclear] capability, the governor would respect that decision,” Dan Senor, Romney's senior national security aide, told reporters accompanying the candidate on Sunday, July 29, 2012. The aide’s remarks came after Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Mitt Romney’s policy which stands in sharp contrast to Obama’s policy which keeps advising Israel to be more patient. The Israeli prime minister received his age-old friend at his own office in Israel. During the meeting, with Romney, Netanyahu , who called him “Mitt” in front of cameras, said that he had listened to Romney’s address to US Army veterans in Nevada. He told Romney that he totally agreed with his view that the United States and Israel should use everything at their disposal to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability because sanctions and diplomacy have not had even an iota of impact on Iran. In response, Romney told Netanyahu that he completely supported the Israeli prime minister’s viewpoint, adding that he was in Israel to discuss common challenges resulting from the situation in the Middle East. Of course, Romney’s agenda was not limited to that meeting. After the meeting with Netanyahu, he was also supposed to hold separate meetings with leaders of the Israeli opposition, General Shaul Mofaz, and Ms. Shelly Yachimovich, who currently leads Israel’s Labor Party, as well as the Israeli President Shimon Peres. Romney then paid a visit to the Wailing Wall (the last part of the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the Western side of the Temple Mount). Romney was also scheduled to hold a meeting with the Jewish investors and capitalists behind closed doors in order to raise fund for the US Republicans’ election campaign. Romney also delivered a very important political keynote speech parts of which were published by the mass media in advance. During that speech, Romney proclaimed his firm support for Israel in its confrontation with Iran.
Obama and Meaningful Signing of a Legislature
Obama’s election staff had announced before Romney’s Israel visit that his trip was not “politically important” and would not help him in any real way. However, Obama aides organized a special ceremony on the eve of Romney’s visit to Israel to prove that they were no less efficient than Republicans in winning the hearts of wealthy Jews of the United States and Israel.
During the unprecedented ceremony, Obama signed a new law for the expansion of all-out military and non-military collaboration with Israel. According to the new law, the United States will grant another 70 million dollars for the development of the “Iron Dome” advanced missile defense system to Israel. The new law will also allow Tel Aviv to purchase new military hardware from the United States, including fuel supply planes. The new legislation signed by Obama has obliged the US Army to increase its stock of weaponry in the emergency stockpile which it keeps on the Israeli soil to 400 million dollars in the next two years and the Israeli army will be authorized to draw on that stockpile in times of emergency such as when a war breaks out. The law had already been passed with an overwhelmingly positive vote at the US Congress about two months ago.
According to a Reuters report, when signing the law and a subsequent contract which allows for the expansion of military and non-military cooperation between the two allies, Obama emphasized that since he has been at the helm in the White House, he has given special priority to deepening cooperation with Israel, especially in security, intelligence and military fields. The Iron Dome system was put into effect by Israel about seven years ago when the occupied territories were targeted by thousands of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip after Israel troops withdrew from Gaza. During past years, the United States has provided Israel with remarkable financial aid to complete the system. When signing the law at the White House during the aforesaid ceremony, Obama noted that the new legislature will make everybody once more understand the United States’ commitment to security of Israel. He added that efficiency of the system in defending Israeli families has been clearly proven.
Measures taken by various US presidents and the current presidential candidates (Obama had also visited the occupied territories in 2008), prove the value of the research which has been conducted by two American professors. Currying favor with Israel is only a story which began with the establishment of Israel. Eisenhower is the sole exception among the US presidents in this regard. It seems that this trend will continue in the future and can be rightfully called by the words that George Ball has used in his famous book, The Passionate Attachment: America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present.
Key Words: Obama, Romney, Election Campaigns, Israel Lobby, AIPAC, Iran, Nuclear Capability, Iron Dome, Congress, Madani
Source: Tehran Emrooz Daily
Translated By: Iran Review.Org