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July 27th, 2012
10:33 PM ET

What's at stake for Romney in Israel

By Tom Foreman and Eric Marrapodi, CNN

(CNN)—Mitt Romney will be glad handing and photo opping in Israel until Monday during the second leg of the presumptive GOP nominee's international campaign trip.

It is unmistakably aimed, in part, at a traditional Democratic voting bloc: Jewish Americans who are politically active in fundraising, campaigning and voting.

"I think Mitt Romney is going to Israel certainly to court the Jewish vote," said Randall Balmer, the chairman of the religion department at Dartmouth College and author of "God in the White House."

"It's definitely sending a message that Israel is important for Romney, that he, he has warm feelings about Israel, that he cares about Israel," said Nathan Guttman, a Washington correspondent for the Jewish Daily Forward. "It's sort of important for this kind of a Jewish electorate. But again, we should keep in mind that this is the minority of Jewish voters."

He added, "Most of them are Obama voters to start with; they won't be swayed by it; they don't really care much."

But Romney may have an even larger voting bloc in mind during his trip.

"The constituency he wants to impress is the evangelicals, people who have an unequivocal support for Israel," Balmer said. "This is the constituency that was quite suspicious of him in the course of the primaries, and in may ways he hasn't fully won them over."

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

Meanwhile, President Obama appears to be trying to undercut the impact of the visit with either faction of the Jewish vote.

The White House released another $70-million in military aid for Israel on Friday, saying it underlines the president's "unshakeable commitment" to that American ally.

Much has been made over perceived chilly relations between the Obama administration and the current administration in Israel.

The president won the vast majority of votes by Jewish Americans in 2008. A recent Gallup Daily tracking poll showed registered Jewish voters preferred Obama 68% to 25% over Romney.

Several conservative activists have told CNN that Romney's trip to Israel is an important step in trying to strengthen his support among evangelicals and conservatives. The activists say that the trip will help reassure them about the former governor of Massachusetts.

Romney has struggled to win over many social conservatives who felt that his past positions on social issues were too liberal and many evangelicals who raised theological concerns over Romney's membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Countless Christian evangelicals are indeed staunch supporters of Israel, citing a Biblical kinship with the Jewish nation.

Their interest in Israel's well-being has motivated a number of Republican contenders to visit the Holy Land and speak out for Israeli rights.

One key group is Christians United for Israel, which has more than a million members and politically conservative leaders who have expressed disappointment over Obama's sometimes tense relationship with Israel.

"American Christians, Americans in general, are going to want to see Governor Romney treat Israel and treat Prime Minister Netanyahu with a respect and an appreciation," said Christian United for Israel's Executive Director David Brog. "Many of us feel (that respect) has not been present, has been lacking in the current administration."

"Unlike other issues, this issue is still in play," Brog continued. "When it comes to the issue of foreign policy, and when it come to the issue of how a president will deal with our ally Israel and our struggle with radical Islam, people are still waiting for information, minds are still open. And this is where governor can influence voters and pick up significant support."

Some Christians, known as Christian Zionists, believe that the Jews' return to Israel, which became a Jewish state in 1948, is a sign of the approaching Rapture, when the righteous will ascend to heaven while others are left behind.

Background: Mideast action at U.N. casts spotlight on Christian Zionism

The Rapture, many evangelicals believe, will usher in an apocalyptic period that will culminate in Jesus' return. Some Christians believe that keeping Israel in Jewish hands will help expedite that scenario.

Activists, academics and religious believers disagree about how such apocalyptic thinking may affect Christian support for Israel.

Many other Christians and Jews see such a scenario as a radical interpretation of scripture. Brog dismisses the notion that theology about the end times could boost support of Israel. "This is simply one of those urban myths," he said.

Still, it all raises the stakes on Romney's Israeli visit; making it clear this trip will be closely watched by American voters on both the left and the right.

CNN's Dan Gilgoff and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Israel • Judaism • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (761 Responses)
  1. Nintendo Warrior

    Draft dodging, money worshipping Mitt. A true patriot.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  2. Dan

    The tough talk did not include his sons defending the USA.The man that went to France instead of Vietnam will be willing for more of 'You People" to die no problem.First thing is get tough with releasing your TAX RETURNS.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • gordyb

      A true Neo Con aka Chaney, Rumsfield, Bush who will send your and my sons and daughters into battle but avoided service at all costs when they were faced with it. Kinda of like Mitts value on taxes, whatever I can get away with I will do, no morals whats so ever. He was a draft dodger during Viet Nam, I did four years in the USMC, he will never get my my vote.

      July 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  3. a disgrace

    after the terrible failure of obama the very survival of a near failing america will rest in romneys hands....

    July 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Nintendo Warrior

      Your screen name is apt.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • gordyb

      what exact failure are you referring to? Cleaning up the mess from eight years of republican government and a world recession takes time. Ending wars that W started takes time. Getting people bak to work with no help from the GOP is almost impossible. He got Bin Laden, he stopped the pirates, he has deported more illegals than Bush, he has ruined Al quada, he saved the auto industry, he got a health care bill through congress. He lowered taxes and is working on the deficit. What crazy world do you live in?

      July 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Veritas

      THAT is the truth and THAT has to be faced if American is to survive ECONOMICLLY as a Nation, and also as a Leading World Power.

      Romney has 'looked Iran in the eye' and told them that if they carry on, America will stand aside and let Israel deal with them – THAT strong warning is the best deterrent ever!

      Recently Putin treated Obama like mud on TV – in public! Iran mock America when Obama speaks. China have "scolded" him publicly several times. Israel don't trust Obama for trying to throw them under the bus with his disgraceful plan to revert to Pre-1967 bordersTHAT shows what the other 2 Super-Powers think of Obama and it'll almost certainly end badly.

      It there is to be PEACE in this world – America needs a President with BACKBONE and the cojones to do what Romney's doing. Period!

      July 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Veritas

      gordyb – You reckon Obama borrowing MORE money from China – adding MORE Billions to the DEFICIT – is tackling the economy, do you?
      2 weeks ag Obama doubled down on his failed policy of borrowing money from China, why?.........to GROW Government spending!..........Not to GROW the Private sector and create jobs, NO to get more money to paper over the cracks before November!
      American Patriots need to step forward and vote Romney in November – NOT the man who doesn't NEED the American people. The man who announced to MEDVEDEV the result of November's election 8 MONTHS before a single person has exercised their Democratic RIGHT to vote for THEIR choice of President?

      Please grow up and think for yourself using the FACTS – not your 'wish list'

      July 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Veritas

      @a disgrace – WHY can't we give 'likes' on here? I'd give you 120!

      July 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Bishop Hairy Palms

    The next war we fight will probably be started by Israel.

    It's time we stopped blindly supporting them.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • gordyb

      Everyone in the world knows we can't afford another war cause W spent all the money and used all the bullets, cruise missiles, etc and our army is plain worn out from 12 years of conflict.Bring them heros home.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  5. dreamer96

    Hey Mitt...Israel wants our latest military and weapons technology...so they can built Israeli copies of it and sell it to China....They have done it several times already..do you want to see China flying around in copies of our F-117's???

    July 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Veritas

      dreamer96 – I hate to burst your fantasy bubble BUT.......You've been involved in Somalia, Belize, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria etc since the 1940s – and for all your "top of the range" , super-dooper planes and missiles – you haven't WON anything since WW2. And even THAT was because the Russians changed sides!

      The only thing you DID accomplish was to change regimes and interfere in Iran and all over the Middle Eas, for OIL. If you hadn't , maybe these problems wouldn't have arisen in the first place. Don't blame the REPUBLICANS – AMERICA created the monster – Romney, at least has the cojones to look them in the figurative eye and SHOW them where the line is!
      The

      July 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  6. acajunthatsagun

    Romney's get even more irresponsible with the latest comment on Iran. North Korea has nuclear weapons. We are not prepared to go to war there. So why should Iran be any different? Israel has nuclear weapons – that's O.K.?

    July 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Veritas

      Are you educationall challenged? Romney said what UK, Europe and OBAMA have said. ALL options are on the table!

      The difference is that Iran will believe that Romney MEANS what he says [And THAT is the best deterrent ever] The whole world now KNOWS that Obama is weak and indecisive – and THAT could mean that Iran will go right ahead and do as they like!
      There's nothing like a good, strong President to PREVENT war by facing Iran and letting them know who's boss.

      Romney can DO it Obama can't and won't.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  7. Chronic Smoker

    I'm sure they discussed how to covet wealth.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  8. Jason Shine

    We don't live in a democracy! We live in a society where the rich decide who is in power. American Jews make up less than 3% of the US pop., yet they effectively control our foreign policy. No candidate for President or Congress can criticize Israel and or state that they will not support Israel. Never in the history of the US has a foreign country had so much power over America. This goes to show AIPAC and other pro-Israeli Jews support Israel over the US. The US is just a place that they can create and wealth and make the dumb Goys work for them.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Veritas

      That's because, without Israel facing annihilation 24/7 for the last 50 years. to keep the Arab world in check – YOU wouldn't have had your GREED for unlimited oil satisfied and YOU'D now be a third world country.

      You obviously flunked history and also hate the fact that YOU, mighty mouth Americans, hate the fact that you OWE Israel – BIG TIME.
      The millions of wonderful, intelligent, fair minded Americans KNOW this to be true.Grow up.

      July 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  9. dina

    What does religion have to do with politics. Remember there is supposed to be separation of church and state.This rapture thing is a joke. So a bunch of super right wing religious zealots want Israel to exist so there can be a holocaust that brings in the rapture and Jesus.This is even worth talking about. This is all fantasy and myth, not good government. Romney is not a right wing evangelistic person.He is just using this to get the votes. Disgusting.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  10. oliver

    Am I alone in thinking Iran with a nuke makes no difference to any of our lives? Mutually assured destruction, you remember that thing the soviet's and US had going on throughout the whole of the cold war, makes it unlikely to impossible Iran would ever use it. So, who cares? The last thing we need is another war...when another cold war could actually be beneficial. The last one gave us all the technology we use today and no one had to die.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  11. ilyaka

    Yeaa Romney. Same old sh..t. More wars, more corrupted bankers, more hate and dominance in the world. And astonishingly, so many fools in this country vote for him. Wow.

    July 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Howard

      REPLACE THE AMATEUR WITH A REAL PRESIDENT !!!

      ROMNEY 2012

      July 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  12. Nietodarwin

    Since there are plenty of Christians commenting on here, and no mormons, I'm going to paste these,from a Christian, who WAS a mormon.................

    LDS Article 1: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
    “Mormons do not believe in the Trinity as we understand it. They believe that God and Jesus were separate physical people” who dwelled on the earth, Johnston said. God was Jesus’ father, and both men died.
    “They do have a ‘Holy Ghost’ that is very similar to our understanding of the Holy Spirit,” Johnston said."

    SEE, THEY BELIEVE GOD WAS A MAN, AND DIED, and wasn't around from the time of Christ until Joseph Smith.!!
    Christians wake up, Romney or any other mormon is not your candidate.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • chr4488

      You obviously weren't LDS for long...you're completely wrong...
      Also, I've been LDS (Mormon), all of my life and never during a Sunday session have I heard negative comments about any other faith and their beliefs. I have been taught by the church to enjoy and celebrate all Christian faiths.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  13. Reality

    Dear Mitt,

    And now in the 21st century:

    The Big Picture

    • There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • agnostic

      its amazing how cnn attracts 100% of all atheists which represent 2% of the population

      July 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • oliver

      It is pretty amazing how the more informed you become, the more likely you are to become an atheist. That being said, this atheist is an idiot and completely unhelpful toward the cause.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, Oliver, the more arrogant the person is, the quicker they follow satan's lies. I wouldn't call that building a better mousetrap. I'd call that enslaved by his lies.

      July 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Veritas

      Reality – here you are again with your "Complete works of Atheist Fiction" You are so predictable. You are also one chromosome removed from a GNAT and ten times more annoying! Go away! You booooooring little twerp.

      July 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update for the 21st century:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
      prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Reality

      http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

      Religion………………………… Adherents

      Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

      Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

      Hinduism 900 million
      Chinese traditional religion 394 million
      Buddhism 376 million
      Animist religions 300 million
      African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
      Sikhism 23 million
      Juche 19 million
      Spiritism 15 million

      Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

      Baha'i 7 million
      Jainism 4.2 million
      Shinto 4 million
      Cao Dai 4 million
      Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
      Tenrikyo 2 million
      Neo-Paganism 1 million
      Unitarian Universalism 800,000
      Rastafari Movement 600,000

      July 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  14. zaphed

    rapture my foot. Is not it about time to use logic and drop religion. I really do not want to discuss topics based on mythology.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Jonathan Pollard

      Never trust a U.S. politician who has to go to zionist israel to get anointed or to kiss butt.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  15. bilk7

    Romney would support Israel against Iran? Ok, so where's the difference with Obama's position?

    July 29, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  16. bookgirl

    Mitt wants another war because there is money to be made by his cronies–same as the war in Iraq. It has nothing to do with the world's or Israel's security. Anyone who thinks it does is naive. The republicans have been itching for a reason to attack Iran. Cha-ching.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • realist

      its obama who said he would not let iran get a nuke....forgot that part huh?

      July 29, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • BADGUY

      I hope Mitt's boys will "join up" as soon as Mitt attacks Iran! They WILL...won't they?

      July 29, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  17. Maude

    Romeny will save the world. The messiah has come. Bow before him and drink the kool-aid !

    July 29, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Nona

      I think you meant to say Obama is the messiah saving the world... right .... and sending us all straight to hell as fast as he can ......

      July 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  18. George Marshall

    I'm afraid that if Romney is elected, and he will appease anyone to achieve that end, that he will be another saber rattling president who thinks that America has enough soldiers, enough money, enough bombs, enough bullets only to find out that, as in the recent past, we don't have enough of any of those things and that the last thing this country needs is to engage in yet another war that does not directly impact on us and that we cannot win.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  19. Nietodarwin

    This is downright terrifying. Those in the middle, the left, or even "normal" republicans just sit around and say "Man, the GOP is really crazy, really out of line, really tacky to be taking The President's comments and doctoring up the tape, really embarrassing us in England, really out of line talking about U.S. Policy in Israel without holding any office, ETC ETC ETC.

    This is the way people talked in the 1930's in Germany. Comparing the modern GOP lie machine with Nazi Germany IS a fair comparison. Comparing mormonism ( and a good bit of the tea party) to other sick cults IS VALID. I am downright scared that there are this many ignorant people out there. I think we will take back The House, keep the Senate and White House, and slowly recover, but I am still scared shshshieeeeetLESS

    July 29, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Nona

      You have swallowed way too much kool-aid and are choking on it ...better spit it out before it is too late ,,,

      July 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  20. dan

    Johnnyme – clearly you are not following what is going on in Israel. The facade of democracy is being peeled away law by law, ordinance by ordinance. The rise of religious fanatics and settlers in the army, judiciary and administration has led to blatant disregard for democracy, and the the Supreme Court and other laws, which are being flouted from the govt on downwards, when they are not being subverted from the inside. I don't think that Bedouins find it so democratic, nor do Christian Palestinians, the oldest Christians in the world, who are being abused abused and dispossessed – it actually goes on and on and can be factually cited. Jews who do not like the way Israel is going are being silenced and called traitors. If Israel had western values it would abide by the International law on occupied territories, and on not using mines and phosphate bombs against civilians, and full civil rights for all including Bedouins, and women in buses (the latest was a group making women use only a certain part of the street) and not allow fanatics to refuse to serve under women in the army etc . Israel isn't just the slogan you put out – it is being run by religious fanatics who want to take Palestinian land for religious reasons, who are militant and using fear tactics on their populace, who only become
    democratic
    when the spotlight is on an issue, who have never once stopped settlements despite promising to do so in every agreement made, who want a state of citizenship for people of only one religion, the rest become second class. If they take over the whole of Palestine do you think for one moment the Palestinians would have equal rights? They were to equitably resolve the Occupation into a win-win solution, it would change the discourse of those threatening them, and win allies, and give themselves options that they are shutting out by taking the closed and militant route they are taking, and expecting us to support. We need to wait and see what happens with Islamic extremists in north Africa, meanwhile Israel needs to clean house of its own extremists, but instead they are gaining in power. Israel under the right leadership could have been such a model, but they have assassinated one good leader, and would do more if a leader actually tried to take Israel into a modern, inclusive, equal rights, secular democracy.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:09 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.