Mitt Romney reached the half-way point in his world tour when his plane touched down in Israel yesterday. As soon as the wheels came down, the questions came out: have you seen President Obama lately?
The locals say no. Israelis are incensed that the American President hasn’t visited their homeland since he took office, despite frequent visits by his predecessors. In fact, his lack of visits has underscored a divide between Obama and Israel that’s become an open secret in recent days, highlighted by Romney’s appearance in the country yesterday.
In contrast to Obama’s icy relationship with America’s longtime ally, Romney received a warm welcome from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu and Romney get along like best friends (having first met in the 1970s), while the the current President barely tolerates meetings with the Israeli PM.
Israel feels like Obama is punishing them for their aggressive stance on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The President should show the same level of support for a long-time ally in the friendless Middle East as he has for other countries in the region. It’s not like the President hasn’t had time to visit Israel; he gave a speech to the Arab world on how America is a friend of Islam in his first months in office – a speech which most of the Middle East has forgotten. He’s also had time to accept medals and pose for photos with leaders of other Arab nations in their homelands – including now the now-ousted dictator of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak.
So with a stable, long-time, democratic ally, Obama has become cold and distant. With the rest of the Arab world, he’s been outgoing and downright friendly.
Maybe that’s why the GOP has been able to claim with much success that Obama “is an enemy to our friends and a friend to our enemies.” In this new ad, they seem to say just that: