‘Not a very good morning for Netanyahu’

Reuters reports: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces an even more awkward time with Washington and re-energized critics at home who accused him on Wednesday of backing the loser in the U.S. presidential election.

With Iran topping his conservative agenda, Netanyahu will have to contend with a strengthened second-term Democratic president after four years of frosty dealings with Barack Obama and a rift over how to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

Facing his own re-election battle in January, polls give Netanyahu little chance of losing but perceptions that he has mishandled Israel’s main ally have been seized on by opponents.

“I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the interests that are vital for the security of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said in a short, congratulatory statement hailing what he called strong strategic relations with Washington.

But in remarks underscoring a rift with the United States over possible Israeli military action against Iran, Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 this week: “If there is no other way to stop Iran, Israel is ready to act.”

Relations between Netanyahu and Obama hit a new low two months ago after the Israeli leader said nations which failed to set “red lines” for Iran – which denies seeking atomic arms – did not have the “moral right” to stop Israel from attacking.

Such comments, along with financial backing for Republican candidate Mitt Romney from a U.S. casino magnate who is also one of Netanyahu’s biggest supporters, were seized upon by critics as evidence the Israeli leader was trying to undermine Obama.

Netanyahu denied he was interfering in U.S. politics.

But former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Sallai Meridor, suggested that Obama would not easily forget that Netanyahu had created a perception that Israel wanted Romney to defeat him.

Obama is “very strategic, very disciplined”, Meridor said during a panel discussion on the U.S. election at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

“But I don’t think we can just assume that what happened between them over past four years will have just evaporated,” he said. “When people fight for their political life and have the perception that their partner is trying to undermine their chances, it’s not going to disappear.”

One of the Israeli prime minister’s own leading coalition allies, Eli Yishai of the religious Shas party, said simply: “It’s not a very good morning for Netanyahu.” [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 thoughts on “‘Not a very good morning for Netanyahu’

  1. Helene Wilson

    I was visiting family in Florida when I saw Netanyahu’s political advertisements backing Governor Romney. I am ANGRY! Certainly, as an individual in the U.S., Bimi has a right to freedom of expression, to speak to interested groups, to have expressed opinions. Netanyahu was NOT acting as an individual: he was acting as ISRAEL’ S government representative, backing his “friend” Mitt, putting Israel in the position of backing the Republican candidate. Well, he placed his bets and lost. I’m hoping President Obama, having a cooler head than Bimi’s, will enable Israel and the U.S. to have a stable relationship.

    The people in the U.S. are NOT to be bought. Netanyahu can have another of his buddies throw bails of money at our political system, (in the 2012 election a good example of this failed approach is Stephen Adelson), but the majority in the U.S. are not whores of Babylon. We will vote for the party and candidate who represents OUR vision of the future, and if Israel wants to be our ally, Israel will adjust to the candidate and party who has been elected by the majority of us.

    Netanyahu’s arrogance and stupidity can’t be just obvious to me! His character, his hot head, his disregard of others advice make him a very DANGEROUS representative of Israel. ALL of his assumptions guiding his actions in doing those political schemes have FAILED putting Israel in the position of “beggar at the door”.

    To put it in the vernacular of the common person, Netanyahu needs to do more than take a few bites of a “shit sandwich” in order to solve the problem he caused. Netanyahu and his associates have changed the playing field very negatively for Israel, if the average person in the U.S.’s opinion matters, and he and his buddies need to GO. They may have gotten away with more subtle machinations in the U.S. in the past, but to blatantly throw the whole weight of Israel into our political process shows IGNORANCE and ARROGANCE that U.S. citizens will now attribute to ANYTHING Israel asks of us. You placed your bets, Bimi: Live with it.

  2. Helene Wilson

    Hmm…My comment is “awaiting consideration”? So much for freedom of speech in Israel…

  3. Helene Wilson

    OH NO!!! My comment is “awaiting moderation”????? If you people CHANGE my statement in any way, I will throw my whole personal integrity into letting people in the U.S. know what you’ve done.

  4. Paul Woodward

    Helene Wilson – While you were getting pumped up with righteous indignation wondering why your comment was under moderation (which is what happens to all new commenters), I was in a clinic under a general anesthetic. This site isn’t about me and so I don’t generally comment on what’s going on in my private life. What I don’t understand though is why anyone posting a comment here believes they are exercising a “right.”

    Freedom of speech does not mean that you have the right to make yourself heard by any means. It means you have the right to raise your voice by whatever means are readily available. This site is edited — which means I pick and choose which articles appear and, to some extent, I pick and choose which comments appear. Anyone who feels that this site is not catering to their own particular need to make their voice heard is free to do exactly what I did: start their own blog.

    And by the way, Netanyahu’s nickname is Bibi – not Bimi. And yes, he’s a loser — but I’m not sure enough Israelis have figured that out yet. Paul Woodward

Comments are closed.