Rubin: Mitt Romney -- you bet Jerusalem's the capital
Without specifically criticizing President Obama in his speech in Jerusalem, Mitt Romney delivered a blow to the Obama campaign's frantic efforts to defend the president's hostile stance toward the Jewish state simply by saying: "It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel." The Obama administration can't even say that much, a sign of how reflectively protective of the Palestinians' sensibilities is this president. Of course, Jerusalem is the capital. It was declared so in 1948. The Knesset is there. The disposition of its borders is a matter for final status negotiation, but only an uninformed or virulently insensitive administration would be unable to distinguish the two.
In a bit of cleverness, the Romney team sent out the text of the speech with this header: "Mitt Romney today delivered remarks to the Jerusalem Foundation in Jerusalem, Israel." That is a deliberate dig at this administration. which has repeatedly put out documents suggesting that Jerusalem isn't in Israel and has attempted to scrub from the White House Web site the reference to Israel's capital.
Romney's speech paid tribute to America's historic relationship with Israel: "Different as our paths have been, we see the same qualities in one another. Israel and America are in many respects reflections of one another." It was a forceful and thoughtful address signaling how his own attitude with Israel differs from Obama. No wonder Democrats are frantic.
Obama's ablest surrogate to the Jewish community, Dennis Ross, is conspicuously sitting out the election. (He couldn't even bring himself to say in the present tense that he supports Obama's Israel policy.) Those who vouched for Obama in 2008 are now desperate to concoct criticisms of Romney, even for the symbolism of visiting the Kotel (the wall of the Second Temple) on the day mourning its destruction, Tisha A'Bav.
Pro-Israel Democrats should be honest enough to acknowledge, as Aaron David Miller does, that Obama "is not in love with the idea of Israel." He can't even get along with its elected government. Romney, by contrast, is plainly an Israel-phile and already enjoys a close relationship with the prime minister. On this, Romney left little to the imagination.
Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post.