The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Republican presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney’s speech in Jerusalem over the weekend.
Excerpts from Gov. Romney’s speech in Jerusalem:
- “To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land. The Jewish people persisted through one of the most monstrous crimes in human history, and now this nation has come to take its place among the most impressive democracies on earth. Israel’s achievements are a wonder of the modern world … It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”
- “…you can’t get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you do in Israel. We’re part of the great fellowship of democracies. We speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. We serve the same cause and provoke the same hatreds in the same enemies of civilization.”
- “It is my firm conviction that the security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States. And ours is an alliance based not only on shared interests but also on enduring shared values.”
- “Israel faces enemies who deny past crimes against the Jewish people and seek to commit new ones. When Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the naïve – or worse – will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric. Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way. My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country … We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again. It would be foolish not to take Iran’s leaders at their word. They are, after all, the product of a radical theocracy.”
- “Over the years Iran has amassed a bloody and brutal record. It has seized embassies, targeted diplomats, and killed its own people. It supports the ruthless Assad regime in Syria. They have provided weapons that have killed American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has plotted to assassinate diplomats on American soil. It is Iran that is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and the most destabilizing nation in the world. We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran’s leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions … the regime in Iran is five years closer to developing nuclear weapons capability. Preventing that outcome must be our highest national security priority.”
- “I want to pause on this last point. It is sometimes said that those who are the most committed to stopping the Iranian regime from securing nuclear weapons are reckless and provocative and inviting war. The opposite is true. We are the true peacemakers. History teaches with force and clarity that when the world’s most despotic regimes secure the world’s most destructive weapons, peace often gives way to oppression, to violence, or to devastating war … We must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability … it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you.”
- “I believe that the enduring alliance between the State of Israel and the United States of America is more than a strategic alliance: it is a force for good in the world. America’s support of Israel should make every American proud. We should not allow the inevitable complexities of modern geopolitics to obscure fundamental touchstones. No country or organization or individual should ever doubt this basic truth: A free and strong America will always stand with a free and strong Israel. And standing by Israel does not mean with military and intelligence cooperation alone. We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel, voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries.”
- “May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.”
ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “We applaud Governor Romney for his remarks delivered during his visit to Jerusalem. He speaks, not only of the U.S. Israel relationship as grounded in mutual interests, but in mutual and deep values that go to the heart of the identity of both countries.
“We praise Governor Romney for referring correctly to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The fact that Jerusalem is the capital is not altered by the fact that portions of the eastern half of the city have been previously the subject of negotiations.
“Israel has never asked the U.S. or any other country to defend it, but we nonetheless appreciate Governor Romney stating what is true: that the security of Israel is a vital national security interest of the U.S. His reference to the ‘reality of hate’ shows he understands the nature and depth of the problem posed by Iran. It is not a mere problem of Iran not conforming to its legal obligations on nuclear non-proliferation, but of its truly horrific designs to destroy Israel and the U.S.
“We also praise Governor Romney for stating that, while we hope for the prevention by peaceful, diplomatic and economic means of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons capability, all options, including the use of military force, must be on the table for preventing this occurrence. He is also right to emphasize that this principled and firm approach is the one most likely to prevent a terrible war. Timely action could have prevented or at least have rendered unnecessary a grueling, six-year long World War II with tens of millions of deaths.
“Governor Romney is also correct to see a strong U.S./Israeli alliance as a force for good in the world, one which has been not only mutually beneficial but has been of inestimable value in the fight against Islamist terrorism globally.”