Republicans rattle sabres against Iran

2011-12-07 22:42

Washington - Republican presidential candidates rattled sabres against Iran and skewered President Barack Obama for being soft in his support for Israel on Wednesday as they vied for the backing of Jewish Republicans.

One by one, the major contenders for the Republican nomination to face the Democratic president in 2012 told the Republican Jewish Coalition they would strengthen ties with Israel and not let Iran develop a nuclear weapon.

Candidates took time out from criss-crossing Iowa, New Hampshire and other early voting states to seek Jewish support.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a front-running candidate, said "covert and overt" activities are needed to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Tehran denies trying to build a nuclear bomb but most of the world is suspicious.

"Ultimately, regime change is what's going to be necessary," said Romney, who received a standing ovation from the several hundred participants in the audience.

Former US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who is trying to bite into Romney's lead in the key early state of New Hampshire, was equally tough.

"If you can't live with a nuclear Iran, and I can't, then you have to say all options are on the table," said Huntsman.

And former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, hoping to do well in Iowa, said: "I'd like to think we had something to do with" a recent explosion at a suspected Iranian missile site.

1967 borders

Jewish Americans traditionally support Democratic candidates, but Republicans hope to make headway in this critical voting bloc by targeting Obama's policy of pressuring Israel to make key compromises in the decades-old Middle East dispute with the Palestinians.

Obama angered the Israelis last May when he embraced a goal long sought by the Palestinians: that the state they seek in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip should largely be drawn along lines that existed before the 1967 war in which Israel captured those territories and East Jerusalem.

A theme throughout the speeches was the Republican desire to strengthen the US commitment to Israel and ensure it remains a democratic bulwark in an unstable region threatened by the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"I will travel to Israel on my first foreign trip. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel's existence as a Jewish state. I want the world to know that the bonds between Israel and the United States are unshakable," Romney said.

  • Fred - 2011-12-08 07:37

    Why do the Palestinians now demand a state based on 1967 borders when they rejected a very similar offer made by Israel to them previously. Yasser Arafat rejected this deal.

      Fidel - 2011-12-08 08:37

      In a video aired on Israel’s Channel 10, Netanyahu was seen during the second intifada bragging to West Bank settlers about how he had sabotaged the Oslo Accords. “I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders,” he told them. In that secretly filmed conversation, Netanyahu also revealed his dismissive attitude toward the United States. “I know what America is,” he said. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

      Fred - 2011-12-08 08:52

      Arafat: Jihad to Liberate Jerusalem May 10, 1994, Yasir Arafat gave what he thought was an off-the-record talk at a mosque while visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. But a South African journalist, Bruce Whitfield of 702 Talk Radio, found a way secretly to record his (English-language) remarks. Arafat's bellicose talk in Johannesburg about a "jihad to liberate Jerusalem," had a major impact on Israelis, beginning a process of disillusionment that has hardly abated in the intervening years. No less damaging than his comments about Jerusalem was Arafat's cryptic allusion about his agreement with Israel. Criticized by Arabs and Muslims for having made concessions to Israel, he defended his actions by comparing them to those of the Prophet Muhammad in a similar circumstance: I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca. Muhammad had already made quiet preparations for an assault on Quraysh. This meant once the desultory negotiations ended, he was ready in short order to advance with a huge force on Mecca. So impressive was his army that the Meccans made no effort to resist it. Instead, they surrendered their city without a fight in January 630. And so ended the Hudaybiya incident.

  • Fidel - 2011-12-08 08:28

    “You know very well, and the stupid Americans know equally well, that we control their government, irrespective of who sits in the White House. You see, I know it and you know it that no American president can be in a position to challenge us even if we do the unthinkable. What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can’t criticize Israel…” Israeli spokeswoman, Tzipora Menache"

      Fred - 2011-12-08 08:38

      Fake Zionist Quotes Scattered around the Web are numerous pages of "Zionist Quotes" that show Zionism as an evil, racist conspiracy. Many of the quotes are forgeries, hoaxes and inventions. The quotes were fabricated to discredit Israel, Zionism or Jews. not to inform or enlighten anyone. The intent of the doctored quotes may be to "prove" that "Zionism is Racism." and that 'Zionists' planned the transfer of Arabs from Palestine from the start and to demonize Israeli, Zionists and Jews. This is scripted stuff -- scripted for the effect it would have on us. The goal is to get people googling for Tzipora -- where they will find a link that will download a virus. The fake quote is like the a doll attached as bait to the trigger of a landmine -- those investigating the influence of Israel will attempt to hunt down Tzipora Manache and will fall into the trap.

      Fidel - 2011-12-08 09:00

      AIPAC has a great deal of sway with the US Congress republicans and some dems because of the reasons stated above in that qoute (control of media and money) and hence it's safe to say that the Israelis know this. In Amerika and lately the UK and Canada leaders of all parties, before elections, make obeisance to Zionism, and the voter's selection of president, prime minister or party makes no true difference.

  • Adam - 2011-12-08 11:47

    fidel, u talk talk talk.... sadly you forget that no matter how much you talk you and your people are still violent and aggressive war makers who have no intention of peace. then a clown like you comes along and tries to convince every one else other wise. but when the palestinians and the iranians and all the other lovely islamic nations of the middle east are asked directly, they make no lies about their hatred of the west and israel and their desire to be free of both altogether. so stop talking cr@p thanks

      Barry - 2011-12-08 15:11

      Yet another hissy religious, racist, fit from Adam.

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