Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is featured in a pro-Mitt Romney ad that will target Florida’s Jewish communities and was sponsored by the Republican supporting organization Secure America Now.
Blogger Maggie Haberman reported on the Politico website on Wednesday that a short Associated Press video clip of the prime minister talking about the need to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons has been pressed into service by the Republican presidential candidate.
Romney has been suffering in the polls ever since the publication earlier this week of a video from May in which he is seen telling wealthy donors in Florida that Obama supporters — 47% of Americans — would vote for the incumbent president “no matter what.”
Romney also said the Palestinians are “committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel” and that the prospects for a two-state solution to Mideast peace were dim.
The video appears to be an attempt to woo Jewish voters in the key swing state by appealing to their support of Israel.
It is not clear whether Netanyahu gave his approval for the ad, or if the prime minister was even aware of its production.
The ad comes days after Netanyahu denied accusations that he is intervening in the US presidential race on behalf of Romney. In a CNN interview earlier this week, Netanyahu said: “People are trying to draw me into the American election, and I’m not going to do that. But I will say that we value, we cherish the bipartisan support for Israel in the United States, and we’re supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.”
Relating to the Iranian threat in the context of the US elections, he went on: “This is not an electoral issue. It is not based on any electoral consideration. I think that there’s a common interest of all Americans of all political persuasions to stop Iran. This is a regime that is giving vent to the worst impulses that you see right now in the Middle East.”
Romney last week slammed Obama for not scheduling a meeting with Netanyahu during the prime minister’s visit to New York next week, and the Republicans made heavy play two weeks ago over changes to the Democratic party platform that removed various pro-Israel provisions, one of which, on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, was subsequently reinserted into the platform at Obama’s request.
Netanyahu and Obama have been publicly at odds over the Israeli leader’s call for US-set “red lines” that, if crossed by Iran, would prompt American military intervention. The Obama administration has refused to tie itself to any such ultimatums, and Obama again reportedly rejected the idea of “red lines” in a lengthy phone call with Netanyahu last week.