Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Bashes Mitt Romney, Barack Obama On Israel In Op-Ed

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Writing in the New York Daily News on Monday, Rick Santorum criticized both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for refusing to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

While admitting that it is "longstanding U.S. policy not to officially recognize any part of Jerusalem as part of Israel," Santorum claimed that the Obama administration's upholding of that position weakened the president's stance on Israel. "The Obama administration is thus saying that it does not even recognize Israel within its indefensible 1949 borders but that somehow it will protect Israel’s security?" he asked.

Santorum also charged that that his Republican rival was no different than Obama on the issue. "When asked about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving our embassy there, Mitt Romney is undecided, and said he would consult with the government of Israel," he wrote.

While Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, the United States has never recognized it as such and no country currently maintains an embassy in the city. The American embassy in Israel is located in Tel Aviv.

Santorum pledged to reverse that policy as well, trumpeting his support for the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that would have moved the American embassy there. "A Santorum administration would mean that next year, there will be a Passover Seder at the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and when Jews say, 'Next Year in Jerusalem,' that will actually be the case for the U.S. Embassy," he wrote.

The opinion piece marked the latest in a series of hawkish comments on Israel by the former Pennsylvania senator. During a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last month, Santorum claimed that Obama had "turned his back on the people of Israel." On the campaign trail, Santorum has often charged that Obama's Iran policy has placed Israel in jeopardy.