Mitt Romney's provocative remarks in Jerusalem this week on Palestine and Iran have focused attention on how he thinks about American foreign policy generally. Beyond the immediate controversy, there is fresh reason to puzzle as to who exactly the Republican presidential nominee is and who are the people he relies on for advice.
What does it signify, for an American like Mitt Romney, unskilled in international politics and innocent of the complexities of the Middle East, to back the pressure now being exerted by Benjamin Netanyahu against the advice of the American president and against the advice of high-ranking intelligence and military officers in Israel? It means that Romney is not friend of Israel so much as he is a friend of Netanyahu. Or rather, for Romney, as for the billionaires he had in tow on his Israel trip, the personal is political. For them, Netanyahu is Israel.