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Israel top foreign policy issue at GOP debate

JTA

September 23, 2011 | 1:54 am

Texas Governor Rick Perry, left, speaks as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looks on during the Republican Party of Florida presidential candidates debate in Orlando, Florida on Sept. 22. Photo by REUTERS/Phelan M. Ebenhack/Pool

Texas Governor Rick Perry, left, speaks as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looks on during the Republican Party of Florida presidential candidates debate in Orlando, Florida on Sept. 22. Photo by REUTERS/Phelan M. Ebenhack/Pool

Israel was the foreign policy topic most often raised by viewers ahead of a Republican presidential debate.

Fox News Channel launched the foreign policy round of the debate on Thursday night by noting that Israel was by far the biggest word in its foreign policy “word cloud” culled by Google from questions compiled ahead of the debate.

Moderators asked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and entrepreneur Herman Cain how they viewed the attempt this week by the Palestinian Authority to win statehood recognition through the United Nations.

Both candidates earned loud applause from the Orlando, Fla. audience by chiding President Obama for creating distance between the U.S. and israeli governments.

“You don’t allow an inch of space to exist between you, and your friends and allies,” Romney said.

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