RAMALLAH, November 23 (JMCC) - Republican candidates for president of the United States were nearly uniform in their support for Israel in a televised foreign policy debate Tuesday.
Polls show candidate
Newt Gingrich rising to the top of the shifting field of eight, although former governor Mitt Romney is very close behind.
Romney criticized President Barack Obama for being unfriendly to Israel, reports theJerusalem Post
The right course for Israel is to care about Israel, he said during the debate with seven other contenders for the GOP nod, held in Washington. My first foreign trip will be to Israel to show we care about them.
Obama has not visited Israel as president. He visited Cairo early in his term to deliver an appeal for friendship to the Muslim world
Another candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, said he would likely make Israel his first stop, although his first foreign policy priority would be to counter anti-American trends in Latin America.
Candidates were more circumspect when asked if they would support Israel in attacking Iran over its nuclear program. Businessman Herman Cain said he would support Israel once assessing its goals and Ron Paul said he would not join Israel.
Gingrich actually suggested Israel might use nuclear weapons against Iran, were it not supported by the US. Israel has always refused to acknowledge that it has nuclear weapons and US politicians are usually expected to follow this lead.