Daniel Pipes’s judgment about the Middle East is as good as anyone’s, so I was interested to see what he thought about Mitt Romney’s Jerusalem speech. In a word, he was impressed. Pipes writes on Romney’s Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem:
Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential candidate, delivered a stem-winder of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation today, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama. For example, the opening comment that “To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land” directly contrasts with Obama’s crabbed statement in Cairo about “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland [being] rooted in a tragic history.”
Also, in contrast to the nonsensical Obama administration stance on Jerusalem – sneaking in changes to captions that identified it as such and going through verbal gymnastics to avoid calling it that – Romney came out and plainly called Jerusalem “the capital of Israel.”
Pipes quotes some of the more powerful passages in Romney’s speech, emphasizing the close ties between the U.S. and Israel. He concludes:
Comments: (1) Obama and Romney stand as far apart on Israel as they do on the sources of economic growth. (2) Over and over again, Romney returned to the moral bonds between the two countries; yes, there are mutual benefits from our connection, but ultimately it reflects something higher and greater than any of us. (3) Were he elected, it will be fascinating to watch to what extent the outlook expressed today will convey to the workaday policy issues. I expect it will substantially convey.
SCOTT adds: Interested readers will also want to check out Barry Rubin’s take on Romney’s speech.