Commentary Magazine


Romney Slams Obama for Turning Down Netanyahu Meeting

Romney continues to weather criticism over his denunciation of the Obama administration’s response to the Egyptian protests, but that didn’t stop him from taking a swipe at Obama’s decision to turn down a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu later this month:

“I can’t ever imagine if the Prime Minister of Israel asked to meet with me, I can’t imagine ever saying no,” Romney said when asked about Israel, according to a pool report. “They’re our friends. They’re our closest allies in the Middle East.”

Amid tension over how to stop Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sought a meeting with Obama when they both attend the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month. The White House told Jerusalem that a meeting was impossible, because the two leaders would not be in the city at the same time.

This is the predictable fallout from Obama’s decision, which John noted when he channeled Obama’s inner thoughts yesterday. But how much will it factor in politically? The Democratic convention appeared to be a disaster in terms of Jewish outreach — it doesn’t get much worse than half the delegates booing the inclusion of Israel in the party platform — but Obama’s overall poll numbers haven’t declined. While surveys have shown him losing Jewish support, that doesn’t appear to have cost him much in Florida yet. In fact, yesterday’s SurveyUSA poll shows Obama up by four in the state.

Still, Alan Dershowitz maintains that Obama may lose the majority of Jewish by snubbing Netanyahu:

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz predicted on Tuesday that President Obama’s apparent snub of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will put the critical swing state of Florida at “substantial risk” in the November election and threatens to further ratchet up the likelihood of a military strike against Iran.

“I think that the Democrats are in danger of losing even at this point a majority of the Jewish voters,” asserted Dershowitz in an exclusive interview with Newsmax. “What matters is how many votes they get in Florida. And I think they are putting Florida at substantial risk.”

There’s plenty of evidence that Obama’s support from the Jewish community has declined sharply, but has he hit a floor? If a majority of Jewish voters are still sticking by Obama after everything he’s done so far — Dershowitz included! – what’s one rejected meeting with Netanyahu on top of it?