Mitt Romney: Who is he, and what is he saying about Israel and the Middle East?

Full Name: Willard Mitt Romney
Age: 65
Place of Birth Detroit, Michigan
Education: Brigham Young University, Harvard
Political Career:
  • Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2003
  • Defeated by John McCain for the Republican Presidential Nomination in 2008
  • Projected Republican Presidential Candidate in 2012
Religion: Mormon

Quotes attributed to Mitt Romney in Relation to Israel and the Middle East

“State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel.” (Harvard University, September 2006)

“ {If elected} My first foreign trip will be to Israel, to show the world we care about that country and that region,” (Foreign Policy Debate, Washington DC, November 2011)

“I have studied the writings and speeches of the jihadists. They argue for a one-state solution—one all-dominating radical Islamist state, that is. Their objective is not freedom, not prosperity, not a Palestinian state, but the destruction of Israel. And negotiating and placating such jihadists will never, ever yield peace in the Middle East. I recognize in the ayatollahs of Iran the zealot refrain of dominion. Their passion for the martyrdom of Arab youth is matched only by their cowardice in avoiding it for themselves.” (AIPAC, 2012)

“[Obama] seems firmly and clearly determined to undermine our longtime friend and ally. He’s treating Israel the same way so many European countries have: with suspicion, distrust and an assumption that Israel is at fault.” (AIPAC, October 2011)

“Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It will not….. Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence.” (AIPAC, 2009)

“You don’t take options off the table. All over the world we’re seeing the same thing happening, and that is, people are testing the US. We have to make sure they understand that we’re not arrogant. We have resolve. And we have the strength to protect our interests and to protect people who love liberty. For that to happen, we’re going to have not just to attack each one of these problems one by one, but say, ‘How do we help move the world of Islam so that the moderate Muslims can reject the extreme?’ And for that to happen, we’re going to have to have a strong military and an effort to combine with our allies in such a way that we combine for an effort to help move Islam towards modernity. There is a war going on, and we need a broad response to make sure that these people have a different vision.” (2007 GOP Debate, St. Anselm College, New Hampshire)

“I think when there’s a country like Lebanon, that becomes a democracy, that instead of standing by and seeing how they do, we should have been working with the government there to assure that they have the rule of law, that they have agricultural and economic policies that work for them, that they have schools that are not Wahhabi schools, that we try and make sure they have good health care. We bring together not just America, but all the nations of the civilized world. We help draw these folks toward modernity, as opposed to having them turn toward the violence and the extreme. And that kind of a campaign of values, combined with our strong arms, speaking softly but carrying a strong stick, as Teddy Roosevelt said, that will help move the world to a safer place. We’d love it if we could all just come home and not worry about the rest of the world. But the problem is, they attacked us on 9/11. We want to help move the world of Islam toward modernity so they can reject the extreme.” (2007 Iowa Straw Poll Debate)

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