Mitt Romney will meet with Israeli Prime Minister this summer in Israel. The two have a friendship that dates back to 1976, when they both worked at the Boston Consulting Group as corporate advisors.
Their closeness is such that when Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Netanyahu gave him advice on how to shrink government, and when Netanyahu wanted to encourage pension funds to stop dealing with Iranian businesses, Romney suggested which American official could help.
Romney has not shied away from attacking Barack Obama for his anti-Israel views, accusing him of “throwing Israel under the bus” and having “visibly warmed to the Palestinian cause.” And he knows (as do we all) how much Obama hates Netanyahu.
Romney appreciates his relationship with the Israeli prime minister, saying: “We can almost speak in shorthand. We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.” Netanyahu has said that they think in similar fashion: “… despite our very different backgrounds, my sense is that we employ similar methods in analyzing problems and coming up with solutions for them.” Unlike the disdainful and shabby way Obama has treated Mr. Netanyahu, Romney has suggested that he would consult Netanyahu before he made any significant decisions about Israel.
Of course, Democrats are horrified that a Republican candidate would actually consult the Israeli prime minister before any action vis-à-vis Israel; Martin S. Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel under Bill Clinton, (the president that sabotaged Netanyahu’s first term) accused Romney of subcontracting Middle East policy to Israel.
We wouldn’t want to ask Israel first about anything that might jeopardize its existence, now would we, Mr. Indyk?
Indyk even slipped and admitted that the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is lousy: “To the extent that their personal relationship would give Netanyahu entree to the Romney White House in a way that he doesn’t now have to the Obama White House, the prime minister would certainly consider that to be a significant advantage.”
The history of Romney and Netanyahu indicates that the two men would have a unique closeness, not the least of which is their conservative approach to economics. In 2003, when Romney became governor of Massachusetts, Netanyahu visited him, and encouraged him to reduce the role of government, telling him a story about a soldier losing a race to his comrades because he had a fat man atop his shoulders. Netanyahu finished by saying, “Government is the guy on your shoulders.”
The Jewish community in America has a golden opportunity to make amends for their support in 2008 of a man who has no feeling for Israel and routinely supports Islamic movements; electing Mitt Romney would mean Israel could stop holding its breath every day.