The Israeli business journal Globes reported Wednesday that Mitt Romney is expected to visit Israel in the coming months as part of his presidential campaign.
In an article headlined "Mitt Romney expected to visit Israel," Globes reporter Ran Dagoni wrote, "Rumors in Washington claim that the expected Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, is planning a quick visit to Israel in a few months in order to embarrass President Barack Obama, who has never visited Israel since taking office. According to these rumors, Romney's staff hope that a visit to Israel, which will win extensive media coverage, will motivate Jewish voters to abandon the Democrats, their traditional political home, in favor of Romney."
Talk of a Romney-to-Israel trip has been hot and heavy the past couple days, starting when the political website The Hill published an article Monday about how Republicans in Congress want Romney to go to the Holy Land.
"Mitt Romney should visit Israel soon, Republican lawmakers say, claiming that such a trip would highlight the fact that President Obama has not been there during his first term," Cameron Joseph wrote for The Hill. "Congressional Republicans told The Hill that there would be many benefits for Romney should he go to Israel, explaining that it would both advance U.S.-Israeli relations and help him politically."
Not long after The Hill article hit the Internet on Monday, the Jewish-themed Commentary Magazine made the case for why a trip to Israel could prove very beneficial to Romney.
"Support for Israel may currently be the most unifying foreign policy issue for conservatives right now, particularly as there has been disagreement about subjects like the Libya intervention and the Afghanistan withdrawal," Commentary's Alana Goodman wrote. "A visit to Israel could give Romney a chance to hone in on a foreign policy issue that conservatives — and Americans in general — largely agree on, and give Obama something to react to for a change."
An interesting footnote to any Romney appearance in Israel is the candidates friendship with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. The two men first met in 1976 when they both worked as corporate advisers for Boston Consulting Group.
"That shared experience decades ago led to a warm friendship, little known to outsiders, that is now rich with political intrigue," the New York Times' Michael Barbaro wrote last month. "Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is making the case for military action against Iran as Mr. Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, is attacking the Obama administration for not supporting Mr. Netanyahu more robustly."
When Netanyahu's father passed away April 30 at the age of 102, Romney released a statement expressing condolences to Netanyahu and calling the prime minister his "friend."
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