Ehrlich column offers distorted view of U.S.-Israeli relations

Regarding former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's views on the U.S.-Israeli relationship, the fact that relations between the United States and Israel remain as strong as they ever have been is not just a Democratic talking point ("Can Jewish voters be sure of Obama's commitment to Israel?" Sept, 2).

It's also the view of Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, who expressed it Sunday morning before the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Moreover, Mr. Steinitz's words echo those of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, all of whom have stated that the security relationship between Israel and the U.S. has never been closer.

Governor Ehrlich never acknowledged that the Obama administration has blocked every U.N. Security Council resolution that criticizes Israel, nor the unprecedented support America has provided for Israel's defense through funding of the Iron Dome anti-missile system and joint military exercises. And Mr. Ehrlich failed to mention that President Obama is committed to preventing Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

On the domestic front, Mr. Ehrlich is far more perceptive. Jewish Americans, he wrote, have "a distrust of conservative Republicans on a wide variety of social issues, including abortion, school prayer, social welfare and gun control."

The operating budget is a government's principal policy document. Leaders of many faiths have condemned the budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan and praised as "bold," "exciting" and "marvelous" by Mitt Romney.

"Justice for the poor and economic fairness are core elements of our church's social teaching," declared Father Thomas Kelly, a Catholic priest and constituent of Rep. Paul Ryan.

"We should not balance the federal budget on the backs of the most vulnerable; instead, we should be offering them support to help them get back on their feet and get our economy back on track," said Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Governor Romney is a flip-flopper, transforming himself from a candidate to the left of Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1994 to a candidate whose party platform would outlaw abortion under any circumstances, including in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

The Romney-Ryan ticket can try to run from their records on the issues, but they cannot hide from the truth. People of all faiths can agree on that.

Samuel I. Rosenberg, Baltimore

The writer, a Democrat, represents Baltimore City in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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