America is best when it locks arms with allies, says FPI Director Dan Senor

USA Today

Mitt Romney has just returned from his fourth visit to the state of Israel. He is a longstanding supporter of the Jewish state. He sees in Israel's heroic story a mirror of the heroism that America's Founding Fathers exhibited when, against all odds, they fought for independence and self-government.

Israel's struggle for survival, as Mitt Romney sees it, is in some deep sense our own struggle. It is by no means an accident that we share many of the same adversaries.

Iran is a prime example. Mitt Romney understands that the threat posed by the ayatollahs is not to Israel alone but to us. Stopping Iran's quest to obtain a nuclear weapons capability is a central objective of his foreign policy.

There is a stark contrast here with Barack Obama. The president says that a nuclear-armed Iran is "unacceptable." But his policies have not matched his words. By spending the first three years of his administration fruitlessly attempting to "engage" Tehran, and resisting bipartisan congressional action on sanctions, he gave the ayatollahs the one thing they were seeking most: namely, time.

Instead of fostering stability in the region, President Obama has weakened the U.S. position. He has deliberately put "daylight" — his word — between the United States and Israel. He resurrected Israel's indefensible 1967 borders as the foundation for a future Palestinian state. He refuses to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. And he has yet to set foot in Israel as president even as he has found time to tour the major cities of the region, including Istanbul, Riyadh and Cairo.

This is a flawed approach. History shows that Israeli leaders have been willing to make enormous sacrifices for peace when they could count on a warm relationship with the United States. Under Barack Obama, that relationship has become as cold as ice. President Romney will change that on day one.

Mitt Romney believes America does best when it locks arms with allies. It is in this spirit that he has just traveled to Israel. And it is for the same reason that he has pledged to visit Israel on his first foreign trip as president of the United States.

Dan Senor is a senior foreign policy adviser to Gov. Mitt Romney and author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle.

- Originally written for USA Today

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