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GOP2012: Republican debate, October 11th, 2011
The Reality
Fact Check

“Say Anything” Romney distorts the President’s strong record of commitment to Israel

January 26, 2012 at 10:42 p.m.

Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected, even distort the President’s strong record on Israel. While President Obama has dramatically increased America’s support for Israel’s security, Mitt Romney said that he would start all foreign aid at zero and has even invested in companies that do business with Iran through his charitable trust.



Romney: “I Agree With Governor Perry [On Foreign Aid]. Start Everything At Zero.” “The leading Republican candidates said Saturday night that they'd begin their foreign aid budget as zero, and declined to commit to continuing the United States' massive funding for Israel -- not to mention Egypt and other countries. ‘Every country would start at zero,’ said Perry, who introduced the crowd-pleasing proposal in response to an unrelated question, and fielded a follow-up from Twitter. ‘Obviously, Israel is a special ally, and my bet is that we would be funding them.’ ‘I agree with Governor Perry. Start everything at zero,’ Romney chimed in, in response to a question about Pakistan.” [Politico, 11/12/11]

 ·         Romney’s Insistence That He Would Exempt Israel From His Zero Aid Proposal “Didn’t Do Much To Assuage Pro-Israel Concerns” As Pro-Israel Figures “Emphasized They Prefer To See Israel Wrapped Into An Overall Foreign Policy Package And Not Tweaked Apart.” “Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, signed on immediately. … Romney, who has made clear that he disagrees with Perry on much else, in this case said he welcomed the idea, saying ‘You start everything at zero.’ … In fact, immediately following the debate, Romney’s spokesmen said he would exempt Israel from the policy -- but that didn’t do much to assuage pro-Israel concerns. Pro-Israel figures for years have emphasized that they prefer to see Israel wrapped into an overall foreign policy package and not tweaked apart, as some Republicans have proposed.” [Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 11/15/11]



Romney’s Pledge To Sell Off Interests That Conflict With His GOP Stances Did Not Extend To Some Investments In A Family Charity. “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's personal wealth — up to $250 million — survived the nation's economic crisis, according to figures released Friday. But his pledge to sell off interests that conflict with his GOP stances did not extend to some investments in a family charity”. [Associated Press, 8/12/11]

Romney’s Charity, In 2007 And 2008, Purchased And Sold Investment Shares In “More Than A Dozen Other Foreign And Domestic Companies That Have Conducted Dealings With Iran, China Or Stem Cell Research.” According to the Associated Press, “In 2007 and 2008, the charity also purchased and sold hundreds of other investment shares - worth thousands of dollars - in more than a dozen other foreign and domestic companies that have conducted dealings with Iran, China or stem cell research.  The companies included China-based businesses Hang Lung, Telefonica and China Mobile Limited; medical research companies such as Merck, Roche Holdings and Fisher Scientific; and companies that dealt with Iran, among them Schlumberger, Gazprom and Total.” [Associated Press, 8/12/11]

Romney IRS Records Showed Family Charity “Continued To Buy And Sell” In Companies “That Dealt With Iranian Business, Complied With Chinese Censorship Or Aided In Stem Cell Research.” “But IRS records show that between 2007 and 2009, Romney's family charity, the Tyler Charitable Trust, continued to buy and sell other investments in companies that dealt with Iranian businesses, complied with Chinese censorship or aided in stem cell research.”  [Associated Press, 8/12/11]

·         In August 2007, Romney Promised to Divest from Iran And Companies Involved In Embryonic Stem Cell Research And Make Sure His Investments Conform To His Political Positions.  “Romney also reaffirmed his desire that the blind trust overseeing his family fortune divest of interests involved with embryonic stem cell research or business deals with Iran. ‘My trustee has indicated publicly that he will make an effort to make sure that my investments to the extent possible and practical, will conform with my political positions,’ Romney told reporters during his half-hour visit to the sprawling Greenbrier County fairgrounds. A listing of investments in the trust published this week included companies that work with embryonic stem cells, and foreign energy firms with ties to Iran.” [The Times West Virginian, 8/16/07]



Romney Fundraiser, Patrick Cave Lobbied For Bank Accused Of Aiding Terrorists. “Mitt Romney is coming to D.C. for a $500-per-person fundraiser later this week — and one of the event’s hosts lobbied on behalf of the Arab Bank, which has been accused of aiding terrorists. Patrick Cave, founder of The Cypress Group, lobbied for several years on behalf of the Arab Bank while the bank was defending itself in a suit alleging it had helped facilitate the transfer of Saudi funds to Palestinian suicide bombers’ families.” [Smith, Politico, 11/28/11] 

Arab Bank Paid A $24 Million Fine In A Settlement In The U.S. Treasury Department Over An Investigation Into The Banks Alleged Financing Of Terrorists.   “In 2004, relatives of Americans killed in suicide bomb attacks in Israel filed suit against Arab Bank, and the U.S. Treasury Department launched an investigation into the alleged financing of terrorists. Arab Bank and the Treasury Department settled, and the bank paid a $24 million fine.” [Smith, Politico, 11/28/11]

Cave Confirmed The Nature Of His Firm’s Lobbying Work For Arab Bank Was Primarily In Dealing With The Congressional Fallout Of The Lawsuits And Encouraged Bank To Settle With Treasury. “Cave confirmed the nature of his firm's lobbying work for Arab Bank to POLITICO, saying it was primarily in dealing with the congressional fallout of the lawsuits:  ‘We encouraged [Arab Bank] to settle with the Treasury Department and cooperate with the Treasury Department and we were successful in communicating to the Congress any concerns they may have about the business.’” [Smith, Politico, 11/28/11]

Lawsuits Against Arab Bank By The Families Of Victims Of Terrorists Attacks By Suicide Bombers Alleged To Have Received Transfers From The Bank Remain Ongoing.  JTA wrote of Romney donor, Patrick Cave’s association with Arab Bank: “The bank has faced lawsuits from families of victims of terrorist attacks. Among other things, the suits alleged that the bank facilitated the transfer of Saudi money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. According to this Jerusalem Post story from September of this year, the lawsuits are still very much alive.” [JTA, 12/1/11]



Prime Minister Netanyahu Called President Obama’s Support For Israel At The United Nations “A Badge Of Honor.” “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday thanked US President Barack Obama for opposing the Palestinian bid for recognition of a state at the United Nations, saying the US president was wearing "a badge of honor" by insisting that negotiations are the only way to peace.[JPost, 09/21/11] 

When Asked About The Obama Administration, Defense Minister Barak Said He “Can Hardly Remember A Period Of Better Support.” “I can hardly remember a better period of support, American support and backing and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.”   [Fox News, 08/03/11]



2009: President Obama Said That Israeli Children Are The Victims Of The Ongoing Conflict, Including From Rocket Attacks, In His Address To The UN General Assembly.  “We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us.  It's not paid by politicians.  It's paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the middle of the night.  It's paid for by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own.  These are all God's children.  And after all the politics and all the posturing, this is about the right of every human being to live with dignity and security.“ [President Obama, 09/23/09]

2011: President Obama Condemned Rocket Attacks On Israel In His Address To The UN General Assembly. “Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.” [President Obama, 09/21/11]



President Obama Said That The Borders Must Be Negotiated Between Israel And The Palestinians. “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps ---- so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states…By definition, it means that the parties themselves -– Israelis and Palestinians -– will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.” [President Obama, 5/22/11]

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