Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Oren briefs Romney on Middle East issues
June 25, 2012 Leave a comment
By Lauren Appelbaum, Political Director
Washington, June 25 – At a donor retreat in Utah, Mitt Romney said he is regularly briefed on the Middle East by Israeli government officials and recently met with Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren.
Ha’aretz reports that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he and Oren discussed “the situation in Syria, the elections in Egypt and the effort to isolate Iran.”
Briefings like these with candidates are not unusual. Natasha Mozgovaya of Ha’aretz reports that an Israeli official said Ambassador Oren’s half-hour chat with Romney is part of a bipartisan policy to keep U.S. public figures informed.
“The conversation was held as part of the embassy’s ongoing work, with the principle of bipartisanism serving as a guiding light,” an Israeli Embassy official said.
Romney made these comments after dropping in during a breakout session on the U.S.-Israel relationship Friday afternoon . Of the 700 donors who attended the retreat, about 50 were Jewish. Between half and three-quarters of the 100 donors attending this session were not Jewish.
The former governor of Massachusetts also told the donors he would be doing more to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Addressing the U.S.-Israel session were William Kristol, a founder of the Emergency Committee for Israel which recently ran ads accusing Obama of not doing enough to stop Iran; Michael Chertoff, the Bush administration Homeland Security Secretary, who is Jewish; and Norm Coleman, the former U.S. senator from Minnesota, who is also Jewish.
To attend the retreat, donors either had to have donated $50,000 to the campaign or had to have raised $250,000.
GOP stars such as tactician Karl Rove, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen Jon Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, were in attendance, a sign of a unified front after a rough primaries campaign.
There was kosher food on hand, and a Shabbat dinner for Jewish attendees.