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Israel Figures Prominently In Final Presidential Debate
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The U.S.-Israel alliance and the need to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon were major themes in the final presidential debate.

Both candidates said Monday during their foreign policy debate that they would stand with Israel should Iran attack it.

"Israel is a true friend," President Obama said when debate moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News asked the candidates whether they would see an attack on Israel as an attack on the United States. "It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel."

Republican nominee Mitt Romney concurred.

"I want to underscore the same point the president made, which is that if I'm president of the United States, when I'm president of the United States, we will stand with Israel," Romney said at the debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. "And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily."

Along with Iran, China, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan, Israel was among the most mentioned countries at the debate.

Obama, who has faced attacks from Romney on his approach to Israel, was the first to mention the Jewish state.

Obama's first mention came when he outlined, at the beginning of the debate, how he was dealing with the unrest roiling the Middle East.

"It is absolutely true that we cannot just beat these challenges militarily," Obama said, "and so what I've done throughout my presidency and will continue to do, is, number one, make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism efforts; number two, make sure that they are standing by our interests in Israel's security, because it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region."

Romney later accused Obama of distancing the United States from Israel.

"I think the tension that existed between Israel and the United States was very unfortunate," Romney said in arguing that he would better stand by U.S. allies.  

Obama countered that during his presidency military and intelligence cooperation with Israel was "unprecedented."

Israel returned as a topic in one of the debate's most heated exchanges, when Romney reminded Obama that he had not visited the country during a 2009 Middle East tour.

"By way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations," Romney said. "And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel."

Obama responded by first noting that he had visited Israel and U.S. troops abroad as a candidate -- a reference to criticism of Romney for not visiting troops during his campaign travels abroad.

He also attacked Romney for organizing a fund-raiser during his own Israel trip in July.

"And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn't take donors, I didn't attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the -- the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the -- the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable," Obama said.

"And then I went down to the border towns of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas," he said. "And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms, and I was reminded of -- of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles."

Last Update:

11/11/2012 - 12:25
Barack Obama, Iran nuclear program, Israel, Mitt Romney
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In this debate Obama has avoided committing to defend Israel should Israel be attacked, while Romney said clearly he would defend Israel militarily. The same is true with Irans nuclear program and Obama would not even defend the American embassy in Libya during 7 hours of attack.
Thank you Governor Romney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope readers of the Jewish Week will vote for Romney.

Obama is very bad news for America, the World and Israel.

You already know about how he has broken America's agreements with Israel about secure and recognized borders and may policy failures.

I will instead focus on 2 recent events this debate and the attack in Libya.

In this debate when asked by the moderator if he would give Israel the same status as Japan-The US would react militarily to an attack as if the US was attacked.

Romney gave a clear and unequivocal Yes.

Obama went into his usual double speak-America will have Israel's back.

(When asked about the use of this identical phrae vis a vis Iran he explained he did not mean military support)

This reminds me of the double speak phrase -all options are on the table-meaning we will do nothing about Iranina nukes.

In Libya the American consulate was under attack for 7 hours. Obama was watching all that time. He should have called in nearby firepower from Italy to defend the lives of the Americans, instead he did nothing and Americans died.

Later he went into his double speak about what was going on. He said he would investigate and prosecute the attackers. But these words are absurd when contrasted to
the fact he could easily have gotten them at the time.

I am a liberal former Obama supporter and understand your reluctance to vote for Romney based on his conservative views.

But the only reason Obama ever gave any aid to Israel was after the 9th Congressional District (Forest Hills NY) went Republican after too much Israel bashing by Obama.

He can not be trusted to improve our economy and he certainly cannot be trusted to do what is neccessary to prevent a nuclear Iran when he doesn't even want to protect Americans in an American embassy.

No American Jew should vote for President Obama.

His policies are terrible for America, for Israel and for the world.

I will not go into the long history of his policy failures with Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Syria and Iran.

Instead I will just look at two recent examples.

1-During this debate the moderator asked if the US should treat Israel like Japan as a matter of US policy. If Japan is attacked it is considered an attack on the US and the US is obliged to respond militarily.

Romney replied yes the US would respond militarily and diplomatically.
Obama did not clearly spell out such an important point. Instead he went into his usual doublespeak "We will have Israel's back". (On a previous occasion he explained this phrase does not mean military support)

This is the same double speak as "All options are on the table" referring to Iran and it means the same thing -we will do nothing.

2- In Benghazi Libya Americans were under attack for 7 hours. Obama knew this happening for 7 hours. He could have called in nearby support in Italy to defend the lives of the Americans. Instead he did nothing. Later he lied about this behavior and said he would investigate the attackers and prosecute them. But all he had to do was fight back. He also lied about the cause of the attack saying it was about the video

Thank you Mr. president Obama !!

Romney said in this debate he would respond militarily if Israel was attacked just like he would if Japan was attacked. Obama did not say the same thing. He used deceptive double speak that means he would do nothing just like he did nothing for 7 hours while the US embassy in Libya was being attacked.

I would not say thank you for that , Instead I would vote for Romney.

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