Early on in the jockeying for position and process to select the Republican nominee to face off against Barrack Obama in November, leading political activists in the Orthodox Jewish community were essentially undecided about whom to support.
More than a few believed that Texas Governor Rick Perry was the man to back. Others were absolutely certain that former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich was the way to go. But from the start of the process, Phil Rosen, a longtime political activist, a supporter of Republican candidates for elected office and a confidant of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu felt that Governor Mitt Romney was the man to support.
And frankly a few months ago it looked like Phil might have miscalculated as first Perry and then Gingrich as well as for a short time Rick Santorum looked like they were about to make their move. During this period Phil, a partner in the firm of Weil, Gotschall and a resident of Lawrence here in the 5 Towns was one of the hosts as he is this week for a fundraising breakfast reception in New York City to benefit the Romney campaign.
During these periods when many of us were still uncertain as to whom the nominee would be Phil would say in an assured and confident fashion, “I’m telling you it’s going to be Romney.” Frankly at the time, that is through this past winter and spring I was trying to figure out for myself who the best candidate would be and even more importantly who would be the candidate that can take this country out of the doldrums by defeating Mr. Obama.
Last week Phil was one of the American Jewish leaders to accompany Governor Romney on his trip to Israel that included a visit to the Kotel as well as a meeting and family dinner with the Netanyahu’s in their Jerusalem home the evening after Tisha B’Av.
On the relationship between Mr. Romney, the Prime Minister of Israel and the people and the land of Israel in general, Phil Rosen says, “It’s a love-fest.” He says for the nearly two days that the Romney’s and their entourage were in Israel that the people of Israel—wherever they went—treated them with the warmth and admiration as well as with the enthusiasm the Mr. Netanyahu received when he addressed the Congress of the United States last year.
Rosen, a man who was close to President George W. Bush and other leading Republican officials at all levels of government says that the connection between Mr. Romney and the State of Israel overall is “Greater than I’ve ever seen from any elected official.” He adds: “I believe it is an emotional connection and the fact is that we atre lined in so many ways.”
Phil Rosen adds that at the breakfast reception for Mr. Romney at the King David Hotel on the Monday morning of the visit that an item that was not reported or commented upon was the way in which Governor Romney concluded his remarks. Mr. Romney finished his address by saying of Israel: “I love this country and I love the United States of America.”
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