Yesterday on his radio show, right-wing host Jordan Sekulow asked Mitt Romney how he would have handled the Palestinian bid for United Nations statehood recognition if he was president. Romney of course immediately jumped into to the standard, tired, old hat right-wing Obama-hates-Israel talking points but then he said something rather peculiar. Romney said the United States should reconsider its relationships with countries that vote in support of the Palestinian bid:
ROMNEY: Putting aside what’s already happened, at this stage the president should make it very clear that we stand with Israel, that this is very important to the United States of America and that any nation that votes against Israel and against the United States in the vote in the United Nations will recognize that America will very carefully reconsider our relationship with that nation.
I think that people who vote against us in significant ways have to understand that there are consequenses of that and we will see them in a different light and our support for the Palestinian people will be adjusted if they continue to pursue this desire to have a separate vote and to be established as having a quasi-state status within the U.N. This is something which will end our support in foreign aid to the Palestinian effort. It will at the same time reshape our policy with regards to nations that oppose us. People have to recognize that we’re nice but we’re not crazy. And when people oppose us, we’re not going to reward them for doing so.
So which countries would a President Romney “reconsider” America’s relationship with? As it stands right now, the Palestinian U.N. bid will be up for a vote in the 13-member Security Council (of which the United States, along with France, the U.K., China and Russia are permanent members with veto power). China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa have all said they would support the bid. France and the U.K. haven’t said either way, but the New York Times reported this month that they “might vote in favor.”
If the Palestinian bid goes to the General Assembly, which could elevate the Palestinian Authority’s status from nonvoting “observer entity” to “observer state,” the number of countries that the U.S. would have to reevaluate its relationship with, under a President Romney, would grow significantly. For example, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the 118-member U.N. bloc, announced that it supported the Palestinian U.N. membership move (although it is not certain if all member states would vote in favor). Members of the NAM include most African countries — including Egypt — Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Chile, and Peru.
So how exactly would Romney “reconsider” relationships with these countries — many of them close American allies — for supporting the Palestinians? The former Massachusetts governor didn’t expound on that point. But perhaps these nations would like to know what their punishment will be if Romney moves in to the White House in 2013.