President Obama has been roundly criticized for his handling of the Middle East during his first term as president, from the "Arab Spring" to his suggestion that Israel return to its indefensible 1967 borders.
On Monday, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton blasted the president for not scheduling a trip to Israel during his first term, saying:
Obama has been in office three and a half years, and he has had time to do more fundraisers than any other first-term American president, has probably played more rounds of golf than any other president since Dwight Eisenhower, and yet he has not had time to fit into his busy schedule even one trip to Israel. [Emphasis added]
But Colin Kahl, a campaign aide for President Obama, has assured voters that we can expect Obama to visit Israel in the coming years "should he be elected" to a second term, according to The Hill.
Commenters have responded to Kahl's statement with a mixture of incredulity and disgust, primarily because the phrasing is an interesting mixture of qualifiers and strange enticements.
One wrote: "Wanna bet ten thousand bucks?" to which the other responded: "Obama would have to borrow $10k from the Chinese."
Republican candidate Mitt Romney will visit Israel during an international trip later this week, and has pledged that his first foreign trip as president will be to the country.
"If I’m president of the United States, my first trip — my first foreign trip will be to Israel to show the world we care about that country and that region,” he said last year in Washinton, D.C.
But Kahl, who was also the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for the Middle East, defended his statements by calling the controversy "basically a distraction."
"Being a friend to Israel, at least in our view, shouldn't be judged purely by a travel itinerary," Kahl remarked.
"The president has been to Israel multiple times, but more than that he's backed up his words with feats," he continued.
Feats that, according to many, have severely weakened Israel's position in the Middle East.