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Sherwood writes: The presidential candidate is to say in a speech in Israel that stopping Iran's nuclear arms capability must be the 'highest priority.'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel, 07/29/12. (photo: Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel, 07/29/12. (photo: Getty Images)

Romney 'Backs Israeli Strike on Iran'

By Harriet Sherwood, Guardian UK

29 July 12


US presidential candidate to say in speech in Israel that stopping Iran's nuclear arms capability must be 'highest priority'.


itt Romney would back unilateral military action by Israel against Iran's nuclear sites, a senior aide said as the presumptive Republican candidate embarked on a series of high-level meetings in Jerusalem.

"If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision," Dan Senor, Romney's senior national security aide, told reporters accompanying the candidate.

Romney arrived in Israel on Saturday evening for a brief visit, during which he will meet the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and president, Shimon Peres, as well as the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad. The visit is aimed at reinforcing Romney's support for Israel and his personal friendship with Netanyahu, and appealing to Jewish voters in the US ahead of November's presidential contest.

He will also make a speech on Sunday on foreign policy and US-Israeli relations. It is expected to focus on the Iranian nuclear issue and the common interests of Israel and the US.

In comments echoing Netanyahu's position that a nuclear Iran is the biggest threat to the Jewish people since the Holocaust, Romney will say: "We have seen the horrors of history. We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again."

Preventing the Iranian regime developing a nuclear weapons capability "must be our highest national security priority," Romney will say according to excerpts of the speech released in advance. "The security of Israel is in the vital national security interests of the United States."

Romney is seeking to sharply differentiate his position from that of President Obama, who has urged caution on Israel's leaders regarding a military strike against Iran. Sanctions and diplomacy must be given time to reap results, Obama has said.

However, a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz said a senior US official briefed Netanyahu on America's contingency plans for possible military action in the event of sanctions and diplomacy failing.

National security adviser Tom Donilon, who visited Israel two weeks ago, shared details of the preparations, including US weaponry and military capability for striking underground facilities, during a three-hour meeting with the Israeli prime minister, according to the report which was sourced to "a senior American official".

The timing of the story suggests a desire by the administration to pre-empt Romney's presentation of himself as a more robust supporter of tough action against Iran.

However, the report was denied by a senior Israeli official. "Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the prime minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran," said the official, speaking anonymously.

Romney's efforts to win over American Jewish voters are having limited success, according to a recent opinion poll, which puts support for Obama at 68% among US Jews compared with 25% for the Republican candidate. Although a drop from the 75% of American Jews who backed Obama in the 2008 election, the latest figures also represent sliding support for Romney compared with a Gallup poll in June, which gave 29% of the Jewish vote to the Republican and 64% to Obama.

Romney has attacked the US president – who has not visited the Jewish state since his election – for publicly criticising Israel. Although custom dictates that presidential candidates refrain from criticising their opponents while abroad, in his speech Romney will reiterate the strong ties between the US and Israel.

"We're part of the great fellowship of democracies. We speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. We serve the same cause and provoke the same hatreds in the same enemies of civilisation," he will say.

Romney's visit falls on the Jewish religious day of Tisha B'Av, a day of fasting and mourning the destruction of the First and Second Temples. A fundraising event had to be postponed until Monday morning when it was realised it had been scheduled before the end of the fast at sunset.

Romney and his wife, Ann, are scheduled to dine with the Netanyahus at their residence on Sunday evening. Netanyahu and Romney have had a warm personal relationship since working together in the US in the 1970s. Following controversy over the candidate's comments on the preparedness of London to host the Olympic Games, his aides will be anxious to avoid further gaffes. Media access to events during the visit has been tightly restricted, and there are expected to be no opportunities to put questions to Romney.

The media has been barred from access to Monday's fund-raiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, at which the minimum donation from participants is $50,000. Among those expected to attend is Sheldon Adelson, a high-profile billionaire Jewish American casino magnate and major supporter of and donor to the Romney campaign. Adelson also owns Israel Hayom, Israel's biggest circulation newspaper, which is distributed free and takes a strong pro-Netanyahu line.

The Romney entourage is to fly to Poland on Monday. your social media marketing partner


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+35 # RMDC 2012-07-29 09:10
Romney is totally predictable. So he goes to Israel and licks Netanyahoo's ass and takes lot of money from a foreign government and foreign supporters and in return agrees to violate international law by attacking a sovereign nation. what would anyone expect from the leader of the free world. he's a captive of the zionists.

But Jews should beware of Romney. He and his religion do not recognize them as practioners of a legitimate religion. They want to baptize them after death. they want to dig up dead Jews so they can be baptized.

The zionist extremists are dragging the US into more wars than it can win or even fund. The result will not be the collapse of Iran, Libya, Syria or any other muslim nation. they are resiliant. They will rebuild. the collapse will be the US which will not rebuild.
+1 # Activista 2012-07-29 20:28
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta (on a way to ISRAEL) says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's assault on the city of Aleppo will be "a nail in his coffin". Thousands of rebels are pouring into the Aleppo from Turkey ... wonder how Panetta will fix their victory - bombing to "secure" non-existent WMD?
+7 # maddave 2012-07-30 00:58
Romney is clearly insane! The war that he advocates with Iran would devastate the USA and our economy!

1. We would need to put 1,000,000 combat troops on the ground continuously for 20 years .... or until, like Viet Nam,. Iraq & now Afghanistan, we simply give up and pull out.
2. We'd have to reinstate the draft.
3. WE CANNOT enter another war without serious fax increases for all.
4. War with Iran would cost $20+ trillion over 20, years and we would STILL lose.
5.We are not the most popular country on Earth - only the strongest, but,. BUT, not THAT strong. . If we were to get bogged down in Persia, our myriad undeclared enemies would eat our lunch all lover the world.
6. Iran is NEITHER another hollowed out, pre-softened Iraq NOR a backward, rural Afghanistan. If we let Israel sucker us into attacking Iran, you can expect immediate, serious, deadly, repercussions here in the USA and worldwide,

At this instant Iran has the capacity to shut down every one of our maritime ports on both coasts for months, and to engage our naval forces in the Straits of Hormuz effectively.

We MUST initiate direct talks with Iran as an equal - ASAP. The opening statement would be "Mistakes have been made, and we deplore those mistakes - BUT the time has come to put those mistakes behind us and act together in the interests of a just and lasting peace in the Middle Eaat." PERIOD!
-31 # nealjking 2012-07-29 09:41
The question is, What happens if Iran's next move is to send missiles into US sites around the Middle East, and/or to close the Straits of Hormuz? The price of gas will head for the sky.
+29 # jmcg 2012-07-29 11:01
Your concern is the price of gas? The price of GAS? I agree that the idea of an Iran with nuclear weapons is troublesome, even fightening. But there is a great deal more at stake here than the ability of Americans to drive their mostly unnecessary, gas guzzling, giant penis substitues two blocks to the grocery store. The NeoCon Chicken Hawks answer is always the same as any school yard bully's - pound the person who is different and who challenges our view of proper order into the ground. But while they are busy trying to summon up the general public's fear of monsters under the bed, what they forget to mention is that we already send billions of dollars in financial assistance to Israel every year, the majority of which is military aid. Rather than financing another war in the Middle East that we can't afford, let's spend that money on developing fossil fuel alternatives and really do something to strenthen our national security. Petroleum is a limited resource, and whether there is ten years' worth or a hundred or a thousand, it will run out, and we need to be prepared.
+22 # kinvore 2012-07-29 11:05
No, the real question is how do we lose our independence on fossil fuels so that we stop using it as an excuse to invade sovereign nations?
+23 # Majikman 2012-07-29 11:22
Wracking my poor brain to come up with one incident when Iran attacked another sovereign state. Can somebody help me out?
+8 # Texas Aggie 2012-07-29 21:01
It happened somewhere in the Dream Time when Persia attacked the Macedonians under Alexander the Great.
+4 # Majikman 2012-07-30 10:24
Thanks, Texas Aggie. Well, hell...with a record like that, clearly they are the neighborhood bully, a clear and present danger, likely to land grab anything in sight while murdering their Arab neighbors.
Why hasn't the US gone in and overthrown that hostile regime? Oh wait, we the 50's. We deposed the democratically elected Mossadegh and installed the murderous Shah and his Savak thugs. Dam those pesky governments that refuse to remain US puppets.
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-07-30 13:26
Quoting Majikman:
Wracking my poor brain to come up with one incident when Iran attacked another sovereign state. Can somebody help me out?

the last time Iran attacked another country was more than 200 years ago when the Persians (it wasn't even Iran until 1935) attacked Basra in what is today, Iraq.
0 # Majikman 2012-07-30 14:23
Horrors! More murderous by the minute.
Thanks, dkonstruction.
+24 # Glen 2012-07-29 11:44
Nealjking, did you freak out when India, Pakistan, France, Korea, Israel, and all the rest of 'em got nukes? (After all they are fairly emotional and have had their skirmishes.) Did you freak out when you found out the U.S. uses 'em all the time? No? Then why do you think Iran will use theirs, in effect committing suicide?

You also have evidently not kept up with the amount of defensive weapons the U.S. maintains and is constantly attempting to expand with cooperating countries, thereby pissing off neighboring countries.

If anybody is lobbing big ones, it is the U.S.
+10 # CoyoteMan50 2012-07-29 12:02
This is an election year. The price of gasoline will head waaay North after the election war or not.
Wait until Jan. 2013.
An all out attack on Iran will only send petroleum prices much, much higher. While increasing calls for dangerous ideas like Keystone XL pipelines.
+9 # jwb110 2012-07-29 12:21
Quoting nealjking:
The question is, What happens if Iran's next move is to send missiles into US sites around the Middle East, and/or to close the Straits of Hormuz? The price of gas will head for the sky.

Does anyone think that Israel will back us? I should think not. This sort of rhetoric causes new and worse holocausts and for greater groups. Will Ben Net be on the battlefield? WIll Romney get his sorry self in front of a bullet to save another American. You can bet there is no way.
The will cost Mitt a substantial number of votes because not all of the US are Zionist Christians and racism is still alive and well here.
+8 # Regina 2012-07-29 13:53
You envision an Iranian attack against the U. S. and you worry about the price of gas????? That's a strange priority.
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-07-30 13:20
Quoting nealjking:
The question is, What happens if Iran's next move is to send missiles into US sites around the Middle East, and/or to close the Straits of Hormuz? The price of gas will head for the sky.

Iran has not attacked another country in more than 200 years. Can you say the same for US?

So, who has a real reason to fear the other?
+24 # m... 2012-07-29 10:27
''US presidential candidate to say in speech in Israel that stopping Iran's nuclear arms capability must be 'highest priority'...''

Of course he'll say that. He is backed by Super Wealthy Corporatists. Think of ALL the very highly lucrative contract possibilities those people must be drooling over at the prospect of getting THEIR Romney elected and him going after Iran with an insane major military strike.
That's what its all about folks..! MONEY...!

Think even of what the Koch brothers would save on payroll without a Social Security Tax.


GREED.. pure unadulterated GREED runs America now... AND... its what is DESTROYING America right along with the Global Economy too.


Maybe the better questions are-- Why are so many Americans going along with all of this, even supporting it...?... And... Why are so many Americans who can see it and despise it all so passively accepting it..?
+24 # hardtraveling 2012-07-29 10:29
Here is perhaps the number one compelling and urgent reason to support and vote for President Obama in November. He has so far withstood the pressure to attack Iran or to support an Israeli attack. If we want to have any chance of a peaceful resolution, we must make sure that Romney is defeated at the polls.
+18 # reiverpacific 2012-07-29 10:34
Just another indication of Twit's finger-in-the-a ir, laissez-faire approach to international affairs and tensions and his truly dumfounding, vapidly clueless understanding the world he wants to rule by military might and clumsy inability to extrapolate the consequences, including oil prices, another truly massive depression and blowback, which many of the RSN community have already touched on.
Yet again, the Rethugs are giving us another chicken-hawk who will mindlessly and happily wave the flag, put his hand on his heart and send thousands of young people to death, dismemberment and/or insanity for military/corpor ate gain but never spent a day in the field of conflict himself -unless you count his moronic Mormon missionary days in France; must have seemed pretty tough in a mostly non-religious un-American country capable of reason.
I know that Obama's record in this sense is pretty poor too but the Roamin' one is beyond belief -just to make political points.
I have to say it again, "Only in America"!
+12 # hardtraveling 2012-07-29 10:35
Here is perhaps the number one compelling and urgent reason to support and vote for President Obama in November. So far, he has been able to withstand the pressures to attack Iran or support an Israeli attack. If we want to have any chance for a peaceful resolution, we must make sure that Romney is defeated!
+5 # Glen 2012-07-29 11:46
Yes, hardtraveling, but do remember how much Obama has expanded attacks on sovereign nations, himself. Remember the drone program and CIA operations? No president will go against those who run this country and profit from war.
+23 # Lolanne 2012-07-29 10:43
Either mitty is utterly insane or he is totally ignorant. Either would be a disaster in the White House. Doesn't he even have sense enough to know that a strike by Israel would fire up (literally and figuratively) the entire Middle East, and ultimately, the whole world? Doesn't he even have a clue that all his billions and trillions of stashed cash won't help him much if the world goes up in flames?
+10 # Regina 2012-07-29 13:58
No, he doesn't have a clue about anything other than the neocons' pipe dream -- that's an oil pipe, of course.
+4 # tomo 2012-07-29 11:21
What I fear is that Romney will heat up a war of words with Obama in which each will try to out-posture the other as the Alpha Male when it comes to Iran. (And don't believe for a moment that Obama is too thoughtful to take the bait. In foreign policy, Obama has been eating Republican bait for more than three years now.)
+11 # GGmaw 2012-07-29 11:22
God help us -- Rethuglicans love to go to war - but NEVER put themselves or their children in the military or in harm's way. Is it because so many Rethuglicans acquire so much money through their investments in armaments, private security companies, and such?
+12 # Elroys 2012-07-29 11:39
Pandering for votes is the top priority in the Romney campaign. Say whatever it takes to get a vote. Intelligence and wisdom are not permitted. Jingoism, war-like commentary, tax cuts for the wealthy, unfettered free market fundamentalism are core traits. These are the same folks that destroyed the economy (changing the rules over the past 25 year years to favor the wealthy elite and Wall St.) and, according to the media, this is going to be a close race? How can so many American be so freakin' stupid? This is akin to voting for GW Bush again. How insane can we be? Don't we care about our children anymore? What have we become?
+16 # CoyoteMan50 2012-07-29 11:58
Romney is looking for another war of choice just like Bush.
Exactly as I believed he would.
Guns or Butter - we know what Romney's choice would be.
Welcome to Nazi Germany in 1939!
+14 # Bill Clements 2012-07-29 12:48
What do you expect from Romney, given his alignment with the likes of Bolton and Cheney? Outrageous, however, that this is what comes out of his meeting with Netanyahu: a willingness to back an Israeli strike on Iran. Just what the U.S. needs and the world needs. Talk about toxic!

Will his base be licking their chops knowing that he just gave Israel the green light to launch a military strike against Iran? Really? Or will some hesitate for a second or two and wonder about it's disastrous implications?
+9 # Regina 2012-07-29 14:01
The problem with Mitt, and those who call his shot for him, is the fact that the implications of such a strike would enrich them, and just consign more Americans to their premature graves. Ya know, like Dubya before him.
+10 # bingers 2012-07-29 13:01
So if he wants this he should be required to send all of his sons or STFU. He'd need to be 100 times the man he is to rise to the level of pond scum. Just another chickenhawk beating the war drums when it was his turn to serve, but instead living in a palace in France trying to indoctrinate Catholics into Mormomism, the original Scientology.
+11 # 4yourinformation 2012-07-29 13:17
Romney is another chickenhawk boot licker seeking love from the great Israeli right-wing zealots.

I don't see his richey-rich kids in uniform, posted in the Gulf, ready to take on the Iranian Navy/Air Force if this thing goes bad.

There will be serious damage to both sides. All for bluster and dreams of regime change.
+5 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-07-29 13:24
Muslims around the world are not aware, or dimly aware, that Michele Bachmann and certain evangelicals called Islam an inferior religion. If Romney means it when he keeps inferring that he is going to be tough and evenhanded toward Islam that doesn't dwell on al Qaeda it will be considered a Muslim foreign policy by the Muslim World.
Many Muslims disprove of 9/11, and since we had a movie theater terrorized we might finally notice that huge number of Muslims don't like it when sports and religious events are attacked.
There are 6,000 Mormon's in Indonesia and in Malaysia, if extremists attack Mormon's, the government might want to be evenhanded in any local conflicts between Mormons and Muslims. Talking his religion extremely seriously Romney may want Mormon refugees from his tough foreign policy to come the the US. Harry Reed, a Mormon, and Mitt Romney are very different on policy except they both agree on Islam. President Bush was close friends with certain Saudi's and welcomed Muslims into his faith-based initiatives, every recent President was partial to certain Muslims.
Jon Huntsman not Romney would help the Mormon Church gain respectability. Pakistan had a women President and the mistreatment of women drastically increased, Having a President a Japanese ancestry did nothing to advance the small Japanese ethnic community in Peru.
+3 # Activista 2012-07-29 13:51
Obama and Romney are competing for AIPAC money - appealing to Jewish voters in the US ahead of November's presidential contest.
After the November they will have to deliver - bomb Iran (there is NO evidence that Iran will have WMD capabilities in the next ten years). The Gaza genocide was committed also after US election 4 years ago - Obama fully informed.
Ron Paul ?
Please listen and comment -
+1 # Activista 2012-07-29 15:44
Thinking - Obama will win - bomb Iran/Syria ASAP - right BEFORE the election ...
Israel internal situation is also in flux - but people are better informed than in US (
+4 # Texas Aggie 2012-07-29 21:07
While I hope that you are wrong about Obama's actions prior to the election, you are right on target about Israelis being much better informed than in the US. Reading haaretz is one of the ways to find out what the MSM can't be bothered to tell us.
+6 # angelfish 2012-07-29 14:04
If Romney had half a brain he could start a rock garden! He's just another armchair Warrior who beats the drum for more War as long as someone else's sons and daughters have to fight it! He is a sorrow and a pity to humanity and this Country will be in DEEP SH*T if he wins in November! Never, EVER vote ReTHUGlican! The People, UNITED, will NEVER be defeated!
+8 # genierae 2012-07-29 14:18
As the web of lies tightens around Iran, I remember this same thing happening to Iraq. We have turned away from the devastation and suffering of the Iraqi people, caused by our government, and now we focus on Iraq's neighbor. In all the above comments I see no concern for the people of Iran and what they will suffer. How can this be?
+5 # Glen 2012-07-29 14:48
Mormons also do not consider Jews to adhere to a legitimate religion, and that blacks are the sons of Cain. It is a religion with little acceptance of the world at large, and Romney is one of the serious members of that church. He funds BYU.

Wonder if anyone will bring up the fact that Mormons slaughtered settlers moving west because they were deemed unacceptable?
+4 # panhead49 2012-07-29 15:00
Yo, stable boys - saddle up Rafulka and all the rest of the dressage horses and get those sons of mine in uniform - you go get Iran & Syria and any other county you want to go after Mittens - but use your own children this time around.
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-07-29 18:19
Do any of you still say there's no difference between President Obama and mittens the twittens?
+6 # Texas Aggie 2012-07-29 21:15
The other day I saw where someone thought that Iraq had taught us about the dangers of blowback. We didn't learn that lesson from Viet Nam. We didn't learn that lesson from Iraq. And with people like Romney in charge, or even in positions where they can influence policy, we aren't going to learn that lesson in Iran either. The lack of critical thinking in the American public is truly marvelous, awesome.

Last week I got an email from some rightwing nutcase complaining about how Obama wasn't totally supporting Israel. He is of the opinion that starting another war in the MidEast is a good idea. Why, I haven't the vaguest idea.
+4 # Activista 2012-07-29 22:45
Haaretz: "In Jerusalem speech, it was Romney's voice but Netanyahu's words
Netanyahu embraces Romney as no Israeli prime minister has ever before embraced a candidate running against an incumbent U.S. president."
how humiliating to American people - now waiting for the ONE mass media to at least paraphrase haaretz - not a chance in US money culture rules all ...
+3 # Glen 2012-07-30 05:40
Romney and Netanyahu worked together as corporate advisers in 1976 at a Boston Consulting firm. They are old friends in spite of those odd Mormon prejudices.
+3 # Ralph Averill 2012-07-30 02:34
"The media has been barred from access to Monday's fund-raiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, at which the minimum donation from participants is $50,000."
American politicians raising money in foreign countries?! Or is Israel the 51st state.
+1 # Activista 2012-07-30 14:05
"The Republican Jewish Coalition, backed by the casino magnate Sheldon ... An ad by the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is backed by the billionaire ... has vowed to spend as much as $100 million to defeat Mr. Obama."
Israel is dictating US foreign policy and more and more domestic policy. Hope that this backfires ...
+2 # the wizard 2012-07-30 05:58
Rmoney's speech on arriving in Israel:
Although I'm not a Jew man today, I will be tomorrow after the circumcision. But to prove my allegiance to God on Kolob, my foreskin will be put on ice and reattached once I return to Anglo Saxon (Aryan) land.
+4 # erogers 2012-07-30 07:29
Hey Romney leave those kids alone. You want to start a war you damned idiot then I suggest you and your family should be in the first line to cross into Iran. Maybe you can ride your wife's dancing horse into combat. Don't want to be in that place, then shut the hell up with your damned war-mongering. Do back to your palatial mansion, paid for with American jobs. You have proven to be just another ugly American idiot.
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-07-31 17:14
Attn: Glen Mormons wanted to leave the US for Mexico, because of being persecuted for at the time having more than on wife. Suddenly the US claimed the part of Mexico they moved to. Your statement a wagon train attacked because they are unexceptionable is false or a gross exaggeration,

We don't have to spread hatred of Mormons. However if Romney if serious about a tough foreign policy, that doesn’t single out al Qaeda, some Muslims would consider it a Mormon foreign policy.

Many Mormons in the Republican convention are Romney delegates and if Ron Paul does managed to prevent a first ballot victory, many of them would find Jon Huntsman acceptable. In addition the Mormons in Hong Kong would benefit greatly, and religious freedom in the rest of China would improve somewhat. The Mormon religion is in flux, Huntsman's shining example would improve it.

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