Fox News
July 30, 2012

Has President Obama ignored Israel?

Guests: Kate Obenshain, Kirsten Powers

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Over the weekend, Mitt Romney was in Israel as part of his foreign policy tour. There he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now, the GOP candidate's trip highlights the alarming fact that after nearly four years in office, President Obama has yet to visit our closest ally in the Middle East in what is now a very troubling time.

Now, Obama's refusal to visit Israel seems to have escaped former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who recently claimed that Jewish Republicans supporters are being quote, "exploited by the GOP." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This president has been a staunch supporter of Israel. Many of the things that he has done in terms of Israel's qualitative edge, in terms of how we have supported Israel in that regard for them to defend themselves, A. B, issues that relate to Iran, no president has done more.

Many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse. What they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So, Israel, that can be one reason --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's why some of the Republican Jewish supporters are really --

PELOSI: Well, that's how they are being exploited.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right.

PELOSI: And they are smart people. They follow these issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right.

PELOSI: But they have to know the facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And joining me to discuss Israel's role in the 2012 election, from the Young America's Foundation Kate Obenshain and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers.

Look, Kirsten, this is really not even in dispute. We've never had a worst relationship with Israel, he snubs the prime minister at the White House, does something we told Israel we would never do, call on them to return the '67 borders. There's been a series of events.

And right now we are giving $1.5 billion to the Muslim Brotherhood and inviting Muslim Brotherhood, a known terrorist organization, to the White House. It's never been worse than it is right now. So, Nancy Pelosi, to make this claim, is just idiocy.

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, who Barack did an interview, it was yesterday or today, saying that actually, they've never had a better relationship in terms of defense issues which is his area of expertise. So, I'm not sure that I have to agree with that. I think there's been disagreements with Israel, particularly over --

HANNITY: He left the prime minister waiting inside the White House and he snubbed him. And we are giving $1.5 billion tax dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood.

POWERS: OK. We are giving money actually to Egypt, which we've always done.

HANNITY: The Muslim Brotherhood.

POWERS: You know, and so, yes, and now the Muslim Brotherhood is in control of Egypt.

HANNITY: A terrorist group.

POWERS: But we have always given money to them. So, let's not pretend like Barack Obama just created with this idea of giving money to Egypt.

HANNITY: When did we give money to the Muslim Brotherhood before?

POWERS: Because, well, the Muslim Brotherhood wasn't in control of the country before but we have always given money to Egypt because we have a very vested interest in that country.

HANNITY: But now, the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization is in charge.

POWERS: This is dishonest, Sean. Come on. I mean, you cannot suggest that somehow Barack Obama got up and said, hmm, let's see what can I do today, I'm going to fund the Muslim Brotherhood. We give aid to Egypt. That's a fair discussion if you want to talk whether we should stop giving aid to Egypt.

HANNITY: All right. Wait a minute. But let me just stop and you go to Kate. The first thing that the Muslim Brotherhood did Kate when they got power in Parliament was to declare Israel their number one enemy.

KATE OBENSHAIN, YOUNG AMERICA'S FOUNDATION: Right.

HANNITY: During the uprising, the Arab uprising, the Arab spring, the brotherhood was saying prepare for war with Israel and then they cut off energy supplies to Israel and they are our closest ally.

OBENSHAIN: And we ignore that. This president has ignored the threats that the Muslim Brotherhood makes just like he has ignored Palestine working with Hamas, and Hamas is a terrorist organization, hates the United States. This president is not being aggressive in making sure that Iran does not acquire nuclear capabilities, which they have been very clear about, that they plan on using against the United States.

If anything, this president has weakened the penalties against Iran for the way that it's been acting. And when Maha Abbas planned this big celebration in Palestine to celebrate the murder of 37 Israelis, the administration turns a blind eye. And yet, Sean, they constantly belittle and lecture Israel, saying that Israel is not doing anything to forward the peace process.

Israel has bent over backwards trying to move forward. But Palestine won't even sit down with them. And then Barack Obama goes around the world and bows to the Saudi King, not a little bow, but a big one. I mean, constantly sides with Turkey when the terrorists attack Israel. I mean --

POWERS: I'm sorry. As opposed to the Bush family, who actually had the Saudis into their home. You know, I mean, come on, how about, you know, I mean this is so unbelievable that the distortion of all of this --

OBENSHAIN: Did he bow before him on a tour around the world?

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

POWERS: -- to have them into their home to entertain them.

HANNITY: All right. Hang on. Let me focus the conversation. Because Mitt Romney's speech I thought was probably one of his best. And he talked about a moral imperative that the United States has and a solemn obligation that the United States has, and that is to stand by Israel and support them as it relates to Iran, privately.

POWERS: Yes, of course. And nobody disagrees with that.

HANNITY: Hang on a second.

OBENSHAIN: Yes, actually.

HANNITY: Privately we all know that the Obama administration has done everything they can do to prevent the Israelis from doing what is in their best national security interests which is going to be, you know, pretty obvious pretty soon, in my opinion. And then he talked about Jerusalem being the capital, directly repudiating this idiocy of Jay Carney in the White House last week. So he is drawing lines of distinction that are going to be pretty big in the campaign.

OBENSHAIN: Yes, we will see what Mitt Romney says if he becomes president. That's the idea that he, you know, he's just pandering in such an unbelievable way.

HANNITY: Pandering? Like Barack Obama doesn't pander?

POWERS: You guys can't distinguish between the fact of Barack Obama having a disagreement with the right-wing government and actually Israel. They are not the same thing. All that Barack Obama has done --

HANNITY: You know -- we shouldn't interpret those words he spoke in Cairo the way we do.

POWERS: Because he doesn't roll over for Bibi Netanyahu you think he doesn't support Israel. That's not the point. He has just honestly had an honest conversation with them about settlement and suddenly, you know, we can't -- we can't do that?

And we haven't even talked about how Mitt Romney went over there and insulted the Palestinians and acted like everything in their economy is -- has nothing to do with Israel.

HANNITY: Kate, last word.

OBENSHAIN: There's been nothing honest, Kirsten, about the way this president has handled Israel. Before he became president, he said that Jerusalem was the indisputable capital of Israel and now he says it's not.

What this president has done fundamentally is emboldening Israel's enemies by constantly attacking not Netanyahu, although he's been nasty with him, with Sarkozy, those nasty little comments.

But what he's done is he's told Israel's enemies the United States will turn a blind eye every time that they go after Israel, as they attack them verbally and encourage and foment this opposition particularly among Palestinians and the Muslim Brotherhood. And fundamentally in Iran, we are turning a blind eye against it and we're abandoning our best ally in the world.

HANNITY: Thank you both for being with us. Appreciate you being here.

POWERS: Thank you, Sean.

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