Mr. Romney has suggested that he would not make any significant policy decisions about Israel without consulting Mr. Netanyahu — a level of deference that could raise eyebrows given Mr. Netanyahu’s polarizing reputation, even as it appeals to the neoconservatives and evangelical Christians who are fiercely protective of Israel.
In a telling exchange during a debate in December, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Gingrich for making a disparaging remark about Palestinians, declaring: “Before I made a statement of that nature, I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: ‘Would it help if I say this? What would you like me to do?’ “
Martin S. Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel in the Clinton administration, said that whether intentional or not, Mr. Romney’s statement implied that he would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.”
“That, of course, would be inappropriate,” he added.
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