In his latest ad, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doubled-down on his controversial statement that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.
“As President, Barack Obama has never visited Israel and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as its capital,” the 30-second ad says. “Mitt Romney will be a different kind of president, a strong leader who stands by our allies. He knows America holds a deep and cherished relationship with Israel.”
“And like the U.S., Israel respects the rights of people of all religions,” it adds.
The Jewish state has long maintained that Jerusalem is its capital city, a claim that is contested by Palestinians and the international community. The claim also runs counter to U.S. policy. Most nations, including the United States, have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
The ad echoes comments made by Romney during his visit to the nation last week.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said those comments were harmful to U.S. interests in the region.
“Even if this statement is within the US election campaign, it is unacceptable and we completely reject it. The U.S. election campaign should never be at the expense of the Palestinians,” he said. “Romney is rewarding occupation, settlement and extremism in the region with such declarations.”
Watch the ad, uploaded to YouTube on August 5, below: