Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently said that the next American president must repair relations with Israel.
Bush, who took part in a forum hosted in South Carolina, said that Israel is “the most important ally of the United States in the Middle East” but the personal relationship has been destroyed because “President Obama got his feelings hurt or something” and must be restored.
“When there’s doubts about our commitment [to Israel], the rest of the Arab world says, ‘The United States can’t be a serious partner with us. They’re not even going to support Israel,’” said Bush, who warned of a nuclear arms race within the Arab world “because the United States is no longer a trusted ally.”
In the same forum, Bush went on to suggest that the United States should consider providing Israel with the necessary weapons to strike Iran’s nuclear program. He was quoted by several American news outlets, including The State and The Jewish Insider.
Bush said he would push to give Israel “access to the most sophisticated military equipment” for offensive security measures.
“Iran right now does not think we’re serious,” he added. “If we gave [Israel] the capacity to strike – I’m not suggesting that that happen – it would create a deterrent.”
The comments follow ones Bush made at a recent televised debate, in which he advocated for strengthening ties between the United States and Israel.
“The first thing that we need to do is to establish our commitment to Israel which has been altered by this administration,” Bush said. “And, make sure that they have the most sophisticated weapons to send a signal to Iran that we have Israel’s back. If we do that, it’s going to create a healthier deterrent effect than anything else I can think of.”
And, in an interview with Fox News last week, Bush took the Obama administration to task for what he said was the drawing of a "moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and Israel."
Bush claimed that the recent spate of terrorist attacks against Israelis stemmed from the sense of impunity Washington was sending to Iran and other enemies of the Jewish state in the region, and criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for comments in which he seemed to compare terrorist attacks against Israelis to Israeli counter-terrorism efforts.