This summer, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is planning to do exactly what candidate Barack Obama did in 2008: visit "Israel".
On Monday, the New York Times' Jodi Rudoren reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's senior advisor Ron Dermer confirmed that the Republican candidate will visit "Israel" this summer, in an attempt to gain the Jewish "Israeli" bless.
Romney is scheduled to meet Netanyahu, as well as other officials, including opposition leaders. The trip, Rudoren reported, will last two days.
Romney's campaign spokesperson confirmed the trip, but declined to provide the exact dates.
News of the former Massachusetts governor's planned visit comes as several publications weighed recently on Romney's apparent lack of a coherent foreign policy platform - or that his foreign policy advisors being pushed to the margins of the campaign focused on the economy.
In March, Romney called Russia America's "number one geopolitical foe". In June, addressing the annual briefing of the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington via satellite, Romney said on "Israel": "You could just look at the things Obama has done and do the opposite."
Romney likes to stress his personal friendship with Netanyahu, based on their work at the same company in Boston (although Netanyahu in a recent interview to "Vanity Fair" distanced himself a bit). Dermer is quoted as saying that Romney is "a strong friend of "Israel" and we'll be happy to meet with him. We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we're sure it will only deepen that."
In response to the news of the impending visit, the so-called "Republican Jewish Coalition" Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "Having hosted Gov. Romney on a previous visit to "Israel" in 2007, the RJC knows firsthand how strong his commitment is to the Jewish homeland and we are thrilled that he will reinforce that commitment at this important time."
Washington D.C.-based Zionist AIPAC lobby released a statement on Monday saying it was "very pleased" to hear of Romney's visit, which it said would "provide [him] with an important opportunity to see the challenges facing "Israel" and the region firsthand."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org