WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents
are clashing over U.S. policy toward Israel as each side jockeys for
support from Jewish voters, who could be critical in the 2012 election.
Aiming to cast Obama as unfairly harsh toward Israel and soft
on the Palestinians, Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and
Newt Gingrich have called on the president to fire his ambassador to
Belgium. The envoy, Howard Gutman, had said that some anti-Semitism
stemmed from tensions between Israel and the Palestinians; Romney and
Gingrich say his remarks unfairly blamed Israel.