Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


On Doing the Opposite

Taking a Romney critique of Obama on Israel to its logical extreme

Print Email
(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)

During a speech this weekend to the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew applause and laughter from the group when he answered a question about what he would do to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the United States and how he would handle Iran. He said:

“I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.”

What the sweet, guffawing crowd missed in Romney’s politely lame dig at Obama’s policies on Israel and Iran was the opportunity to take him at his word. So let’s imagine. What would the opposite of Obama’s actions since 2009 vis-à-vis Israel and Iran look like? Here’s the list.

Romney’s Israel/Iran To-Do List: January 20, 2013

  • Take the military option against Iran off the table.
  • Proclaim boldly and often that an Iranian nuclear weapon is acceptable and sponsor a policy of containment.
  • Unravel the labyrinthine, biting international sanctions against Iran.
  • Suspend or condemn attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities and assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.
  • Stop engaging in cyberattacks against the Iranian nuclear program.
  • Reframe Iran’s nuclear program as strictly an Israeli national security concern.
  • Decrease military aid to Israel from its highest-ever apex.
  • Dismantle the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation between the U.S. and Israel.
  • Ask Israel to reimburse the United States for the Iron Dome program.
  • Endorse the original Goldstone Report on the Gaza War.
  • Vote for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations
  • Endorse every anti-Israel resolution placed before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  • Demand Israeli apology for the Turkish flotilla incident.
  • Promote Holocaust denial and delegitimize Israel in a speech to the Arab World.
  • Request rampant settlement expansion to drive a stake through the heart of a two-state solution.

As you can see, it’s really going to be a tough go for the Jewish State in 2013 if Romney gets elected and chooses to do the opposite of President Obama. Let’s hope he comes to his senses.

Mitt Romney Pleases Christian Group with Stance on Israel [LA Times]

U.S., Israel Build Military Cooperation [WSJ]

AJC Applauds Administration on Goldstone [JTA]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

jmm64 says:

You are right about hoping that Romney gets elected. If not, then Obama’s prevention policy against Iran obtaining nuclear weapons will suddenly  become a containment policy after he’s reelected.


    ricksonelliot says:

    Obviously,Jews can only force him to sacrifice our sons and daughters for Israel now,after the election he will put American lives before Jewish campaign financing, make hay and force him to destroy America for Jewish interests while you have him hostage,

rocky2345 says:

One thing Romney will support if he is elected will be the cutting of the social safety net: food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers etc. He has already come out in support of Congressman Ryan’s proposals on these budget cuts. For large Hasidic families who currently qualify as poor, it may come as quite a shock to finally learn that Republicans really aren’t their friends, starting with the New York State Republican liason to the Jewish community, Yossi Gestetner.

In 2009, estimated median household income in the Hasidic community of New Square, NY was only $18,875 (vs. $54,569 for New York State as a whole) . There appear to be a lot of poor people in New Square on the government gravy train. But the median value of a house or condo in New Square was $393,030 vs. $306,000 for the state as a whole. Something doesn’t look right. Maybe the IRS should investigate under reporting of household income in New Square.  (Figures are from Kiryas Joel, NY is another Hasidic community where reported median household income is low but property values are high.

If Romney is elected, at least I’ll get to enjoy four more years of my Bush dividend tax cuts. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Boychic says:

Maybe what he really meant is that he wouldn’t sit in church listening to 20 years of anti-semitic, anti-American rants without walking out the first time he heard it.That, indeed, would be just the opposite. 

    Hobknobed says:

    No, instead he would just be a high ranking member of an officially racist church that have made prophecies about him becoming the first Mormon president and delivering the country into the Mormon religion.

    Maybe you should refrain from sitting in front of your TV listening to 20 years of anti-truth, anti-intelligent rants from Fox News commentators without walking away and going outside into the fresh air the first time you heard it.

    Just sayin’…

    I think you should read the full sermon that the media (especially FOX!) have made such a big deal of! If anyone in this country believes our country has been blameless when it comes to the middle east they just aren’t educated. Do I believe that justifies the 9/11 attacks – of course not. But we have been terrible in that area – and all because of our dependence on oil – we NEED to re-elect President Obama and continue to develop alternative energies and get off of the foreign oil teat!

How do you think Romney feels about the EPA’s new carbon pollution standard? …I’m sure we can all guess.

Did you know that there is a Jewish voice on this issue? This is your opportunity to BE that voice.

There is LESS THAN ONE WEEK left to join in support of the EPA’s new carbon pollution standard.

Sign now!

    yevka says:

Frenchger says:

I’m French, live till33 years in Germany and see daily the consequences of the german II
War faults. If  some Americaner want start the same action as here in 1933 and consequently bring to ruin the future of their children and next generations, than it’s the best way with Mitt Romney. 
Wake up before it’s too late! Obama is sure not the best President but where do you find on the world a politician who realy make his task with wisdom ? 

Allen Hertz says:

Permit a Canadian to comment on this Adam Chandler article which is a shameful exercise in Democratic Party propaganda. Its aim is to simultaneously belittle Mitt Romney and further the Democratic Party fiction that President Obama is a friend of Israel. To say that this President is a friend of Israel is a bold-faced lie. President Obama has personally run policies toward Israel that have been as negative as they could possibly be, given the tough political reality of strong bipartisan support for Israel, both in Congress and generally among the USA population.  As the November 2012 election approaches,  the President’s references to Israel become increasingly honeyed. However, what happens if he is still in office at the end of January 2013? Will Obama then pivot back to the abuse he heaped on Israel in his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech? (See my November 2009 posting at  Moreover, what’s happening on the Iran nuclear weapons file? Is it possible for any American to believe that Russia and China are really going to help the USA stop Iran from enriching uranium for nuclear weapons? In this regard, President Obama is reliably on track toward fulfilling early predictions that he is another Neville Chamberlain, with Israel cast in the role of 1938 Czechoslovakia. Why should Iran agree to stop its race to nuclear weapons? Is President Obama really going to use USA military power to blunt the WMD program of the ayatollahs who for the Jewish People are as bad as the Nazis? Good if President Obama does use force to stop Iran, but there is not much chance of that, judging from the continuing travesty of the P5+1. With each month, resolute USA action to stop Iran becomes increasingly less likely, if only because Russia and China are being given such an extended period to prepare the international price that will have to be paid,  in the event that the USA might finally make a move against Iran. Make no mistake! An Iran armed with nuclear weapons is the intended bookend to North Korea’s nuclear program. Russia and China are naturally well aware that together the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs effectively mark the end of the USA as the world’s hyper-power. And perhaps that outcome is really okay as far as President Obama is concerned. The “open mic” incident in Seoul teaches that when President Obama thinks Americans are not listening, he says things to foreign leaders that he prefers voters not to know before the November 2012 presidential election.  And, for these last few months, the Obama administration and the many card-carrying Obami that infest the mainstream media are increasingly pointing the finger of blame at Israel, which is being pressured to remain passive in the face of genocidal preparations by Iran.  Obama’s foreign policy alienates key friends and allies like Egypt and Pakistan, but dazzles the American population with Rambo-style drone strikes. Do such demagogic tricks suggest success for the USA or security for Israel? Which country now trusts the USA to honor its word? Certainly neither the people nor government of Israel.

    Thank you for your insights.

    Hobknobed says:

    Do you have anything to add which is not pure conjecture and fear-mongering?  

    dj_spellchecka says:

    thanks for letting us see what the great white north version of obama derangemnt syndrome looks like

    “President Obama is reliably on track toward fulfilling early predictions that he is another Neville Chamberlain, with Israel cast in the role of 1938 Czechoslovakia.”

    invoking godwin’s law here….you lose

    “key friends and allies like Pakistan”

    surely you jest

    ricksonelliot says:

    You Jews have been treasonous filth so long you actually think Obama should fight israels wars for you

    Allen Hertz thinks Obama is bad for Israel.

    Israel’s Defense Minister thinks otherwise:

    I’ll take Israel’s Defense Minister.

      Me too Charlie!! Look at the facts about Obama and Israel – go to The Rational Majority on Facebook ( for the FACTS!!

    psydneyh says:

    Pakistan and Egypt are friends and allies?

wjca says:

No doubt what he actually meant was that he would do the opposite of what the Republican base believes to be what Obama has said and done.  That fact that this belief has no basis in reality is rather beside the point. 
Besides, if he laid out his proposed policy in detail, it would be possible to show all the places that it is identical to Obama’s, which would rather undercut his narrative.
On one point, however, he is correct.  If in office, Romney would probably carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.   Those that we know about, and can hit effectively, anyway.  Of course, this would get us involved in yet another war in the Middle East.  But hey, it would support what the Israeli government says it wants, and that’s all that matters.

Wonderful analysis.

In addition to Romney being way off base on Israel and foreign policy in general, the following domestic considerations should be considered:
1. Mitt Romney and other Republicans are promoting policies similar to or often worse than those that had such disastrous results during the Bush administration, including converting a three-year major surplus, which was on track to completely eliminate the total federal debt, into a major deficit, creating very few net jobs (none in the private sector), and leaving the country on the brink of a depression, with an average of 750,000 jobs being lost during its last three months.2. Republicans have obstructed efforts to get our country out of the tremendous ditch they left us in by voting no on and sometimes filibustering many Democratic proposals, some of which they previously supported and sometimes even co-sponsored. Hence, it is not surprising that a recent poll showed that 49% of Americans believe that Republican Congress members are purposely sabotaging the U.S. economy in order to defeat Obama and other Democrats, while only 40% disagree.3.. Republicans support continued tax breaks for the wealthiest   Americans and highly profitable corporations, while basic social services that middle class and poor people depend on are being cut and teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and others are losing their jobs.4. Republican legislators have voted against providing funds to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and fire fighters, providing unemployment benefits to long-time unemployed people, and providing medical benefits to 9/11 responders.5. Republicans are generally in denial about the tremendous dangers from climate change, in spite of a very strong consensus in peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and statements by scientific academies all over the world, as well as the many wake-up calls we have been receiving in terms of severe storms, tornados, floods, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, that climate change is a major threat, largely caused by human activities. Anyone who thinks that climate change is a hoax promoted by liberals should visit the website of the “Republicans for Environmental Protection.” ( . This conservative group was only able to endorse four percent of Republicans in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections because so many Republicans are in denial about climate change and other environmental threats.6. The Republican Party has moved far to the right under the influence of the Tea Party. There are very few moderate Republicans in Congress today.7. While far more needs to be done, Democrats have enacted policies that have turned the economy away from the possible depression that the Bush administration left the U.S. on the brink of. More net private-sector jobs have been created already during the Obama administration than during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency.While Democratic policies have not always lived up to our hopes, largely due to Republican obstructionism, a return to Republican rule would be a nightmare. Hence, it is essential to vote Democratic in 2012.

    ricksonelliot says:

    What happened to budget cuts across the board to fix the economy even if it meant cutting socialnprograms for the elderly and food stamps? All that went out the window when adelson pledged 1 billion in return for invading Iran, I for one am glad ,it takes an overt act of treason to wake the masses up to the Jewish problem destroying America from within, Good luck

NepotismIsDomesticTerrorism says:

“I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.”

Each day, Romney’s campaign tactics remind me more and more of Dick Nixon. Big on promises (for Nixon, it was the Vietnam “strategy”) and very, very, very, very light on specific details.

Chandler, thanks for the very clear rundown. Romney kind of made an ass out of himself with that line.

ricksonelliot says:

Congratulations Jewish campaign financing has managed to buy a American war on Iran fit Israel, after 12 dollar gasoline brings the American supply chain to a halt and cracks the already fragile economy and 10,000 bodybags come home in this war for Jewish interests how do you think American citizens will react to Jews in our country? Jews once laughed as Germans starved and protested Jews destroying their country from within while living the high life, but it was a putrid victory for Jews …… They stopped laughing in 1933′ when Germans demanded theirvleaders fight back.

salemst says:

The difference is Romney wants Israel to exist. Obama doesn’t care if she does.
And the self-loathing genuflecting liberal Democrat Party Jews here defending Obama clearly have done so well in the US and so personally comfortable they’re willing to abandon Israel claiming the US as their new ‘homeland.’

The Jews for Obama disgust and embarrass me. Can anyone tell me when Obama even visited Israel and who his first foreign phone call was to once elected?
Answers…….Never and Abbas. Great friend of Israel, right.

    You are truly an IDIOT!!!! President Obama has done MORE for Israel then ANY President since Truman!!!! More loans, defenses against rockets coming into Israel – which by the way Bush rejected!! Where was this loathing for Bush? Bush, who, thanks to the immoral and illegal war in Iraq, created MILLIONS more TERRORISTS then we had before and emboldened Iran!! Which President visited Israel in their first term? NONE!! At least Obama visited before the election and I am sure, just like a few Presidents before him, he will again during his second term.
    Read the facts instead of just mouthing off CRAP!!

AND Romney has Sinunu (sp?) as lead on his team!! Talk about lousy on Israel!!!!


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

On Doing the Opposite

Taking a Romney critique of Obama on Israel to its logical extreme

More on Tablet:

Kerry Links Rise of ISIS With Failed Peace Talks

By Lee Smith — Secretary of State: ‘I see a lot of heads nodding’