Days after returning from Israel where he declared Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and donors pledged $1 million to his campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney has formed a Jewish American coalition to bolster his bid for the presidency.
“The Jewish community has made contributions to American society that stand in amazing disproportion to its numbers, and I am genuinely honored to have so many of its leading thinkers, diplomats, and political leaders support my campaign,” Romney said in a note to reporters on Wendesday. “Having just visited Israel at a critical juncture in the history of the Middle East, I am persuaded that now, more than ever, America needs to stand with Israel.”
Congressman Eric Cantor, the highest ranking Jewish member of Congress in U.S. history, will serve as one of the coalition’s honorary chairmen.
“Governor Romney understands that peace in the Middle East will only be achieved when Israel is secure within its borders and not the target of violence fueled by senseless hatred,” Cantor wrote in the coalition’s opening statement. “He will leave no stone unturned in the effort to keep Israel secure.”
Philip Rosen, a Manhattan lawyer and key Romney fundraiser who is listed on the National Advisory Board of the Coalition told The Algemeiner that “a primary purpose of the group would likely be holding events in different cities.” He added that it was possible that Romney himself would attend an event organized by the group, “or one of his sons or surrogates.”
Its main purpose he said is “to reach out to the Jewish community and help increase support for the Governor which in my mind has been escalating daily.”
Romney hopes to build on Senator John McCain’s Jewish support during the 2008 presidential race, who garnered 22% of the American-Jewish vote.
President Obama, who took 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008 signed a bill this week to enhance U.S.-Israeli security cooperation, and on Tuesday, approved new economic sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to agree to international demands regarding its nuclear program.
The full list of Honorary Chairmen and National Advisory Board members of the coalition is below:
Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Former Governor Linda Lingle (R-HI)
Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Former Senator Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN)
Adam Hasner, Florida
National Advisory Board
Ambassador Eric Edelman
Ambassador Mitchell Reiss
Hon. Phyllis Greenberg Heideman
Ambassador Ned Siegel
Ambassador Mel Sembler
Ambassador Sam Fox
Jay and Ann Davis
Ambassador Cliff Sobel