CMEP Bulletin: Mitt Romney Visits Jerusalem on Diplomatic Tour

CMEP Bulletin: Mitt Romney Visits Jerusalem on Diplomatic Tour

weekly update from CMEP

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney went overseas last week and made a stop in Jerusalem on July 29-30 for meetings with officials and fundraising prior to the US elections in November. The visit was controversial from several points of view.

The former Massachusetts governor met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He also gave a policy speech in front of the Old City and ended the trip with a fundraiser at the King David Hotel. He did not go to Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority seat of government, to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Before arriving to Jerusalem, Romney gave an interview with Israel Hayom that set the tone for the visit. When asked what he would do differently from President Barack Obama when it came to Israel, Romney said he would not have given the speech in the UN Security Council against settlements in 2011. He told the paper, “I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world.” He was referring to the US statement in the UN Security Council in February 2011 when the U.S. vetoed a resolution supported by all other Security Council members that declared Israeli settlements to be “illegal.” In explaining her vote, US Ambassador Rice said. “… We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity…Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace…”

Romney also echoed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s criticism of Obama in May 2011 when the Prime Minister rejected the idea of negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians on basis of the 1967 borders, saying those borders are “indefensible.” The president in fact called for negotiations on the basis of the 1967 borders with mutually agreed territorial swaps, the same position of previous Israeli governments until as recently as 2008.

Click here to continue reading this CMEP Bulletin, including the rest of this story and the following:

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