Responding to ad, Israeli Embassy says bipartisan Israel support ‘paramount’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bipartisan U.S. support is a "paramount" Israeli interest, the Israeli Embassy said in response to a pro-Romney Super PAC ad that uses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warnings about Iran in an anti-Obama ad.

"The support that Israel receives from both sides of the American political aisle is a paramount national interest," the embassy said in response to a request for comment on the ad. "All inquiries related to the U.S. presidential election campaigns should be posed to the respective parties."

The ad uses a clip from a news conference Netanyahu delivered on Sept. 11.

"The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs," Netanyahu says. "The world tells Israel, ‘Wait, there’s still time!’ and I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ "

Netanyahu’s remarks that day were seen as aimed at the Obama administration.

The ad concludes with a narrator saying, "The world needs American strength, not apologies," a reference to a claim by Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for U.S. behavior in the Middle East, although fact checkers for several publications have said the claim is unfounded.

Secure America Now, one of a plethora of Super PACs — political action committees that may use unlimited funds in parallel with campaigns — is paying for the ad, which began airing this week.

Politico reported that Secure America Now has bought $400,000 worth of TV ad time in South Florida and may spend up to $1 million.

Florida is a swing state, and both campaigns are campaigning heavily among its substantial population of Jewish voters.

Netanyahu since the news conference has said that his main concern is what he says is the acceleration of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, and that he does not intend to insert himself into the U.S. presidential race. He also says he appreciates bipartisan U.S. support for Israel.

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