News / USA

US Republican Presidential Contenders Pledge Support for Israel

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition, Dec. 7, 2011
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition, Dec. 7, 2011

In U.S. politics, most of the Republican presidential hopefuls were in Washington Wednesday where they took turns bashing President Barack Obama’s policies toward Israel and Iran.  

The Republican White House contenders took turns discussing foreign policy in general and specifically relations with Israel as they spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition.

The six candidates who spoke criticized the Obama administration for being unnecessarily tough on Israel and for not being tough enough on Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

Among those who spoke was the new frontrunner in the Republican presidential field, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich.

“How about saying to Hamas, give up violence and come to the table," he said. "How about saying to the PLA [Palestinian Authority], recognize Israel and come to the table.  This one-sided continuing pressure that says it is always Israel’s fault no matter how bad the other side is has to stop!”

Gingrich has surged ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in national polls and in surveys in early-voting states like Iowa and South Carolina.

Romney also spoke to the Republican Jewish forum and said that President Obama’s policies had emboldened Palestinian hardliners and set back the prospects for peace.

Romney said if elected president next November he would visit Israel on his first trip abroad.

“And I want the world to know that the bonds that exist between Israel are unshakeable," he said. "I want every country in the region that harbors aggressive designs against Israel to understand that their ambition is futile and that pursuing it will cost them very dearly.”

Romney and Gingrich also criticized the Obama administration for doing too little to stop Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapons program.

The other Republican contenders who spoke at the forum also expressed concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum recalled his work in Congress to draw attention to Iran as a threat to both Israel and the United States.

“We all understood that the real existential threat to the state of Israel, a real threat to the security of this country long term, was this theocracy in Iran," he said.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman said he would strengthen ties to Israel if elected as part of a broader foreign policy overhaul.  Huntsman served as the U.S. ambassador to China until earlier this year.

“It is time for the world to understand who our friends and allies are," he said. "It is time for the world to understand that we stand with Israel during this time of need.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann also spoke to the Republican Jewish group.

The only major Republican contender not invited to speak was Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has said as president he would not support using military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

Obama administration officials say the U.S. remains firmly supportive of Israel.  Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told MSNBC television that President Obama “cares deeply about Israel in a personal way” and that “the administration’s commitment to Israel is absolutely steadfast and unwavering.”

Republicans have made efforts in recent years to win a greater share of the Jewish vote in the U.S.  American Jews make up about two percent of the U.S. population and President Obama won the support of about three-quarters of Jewish voters in the 2008 election.

You May Like

Multimedia Baltimore 'Victory Rally' Follows Charges in Detainee Death

Saturday's rally is largest organized gathering since state's attonrey filed felony charges in police-custody death of Freddie Gray More

UN Denies Child Sex Abuse Cover Up in CAR

UNHCR says senior official suspected of leaking report suspended for breaching rules More

Nepal Officials Slammed Over Aid Response

VOA News has compiled from various organizations complaints from across Nepal of bottlenecks at customs, repeated harassing inspections of aid convoys and seizure of goods More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs