The Jerusalem Post reported that
After six years of testy relations, US President Barack Obama may have to resign himself to the likelihood that he has not seen the last of Benjamin Netanyahu.
A better-than-expected showing by the Israeli prime minister in Tuesday’s closely fought election raises the prospect that he could remain a thorn in Obama’s side, with the two men increasingly at odds over Iran diplomacy and Middle East peacemaking.
US officials responded cautiously as they waited to see whether Netanyahu or his center-left challenger, Isaac Herzog, would get the nod from Israel’s president to begin the long and messy coalition-building process.
Clearly the result that many of Obama’s supporters had hoped for – a repudiation by Israeli voters of Netanyahu’s hard-line approach – was not to be. Exit polls showed that his Likud party had erased its rival’s pre-election lead, putting the two sides in a dead heat.
“Looks like the White House will need to let the champagne chill a bit longer,” Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for Republican and Democratic administrations, tweeted about the election outcome.
The election came just two weeks after Netanyahu defied Obama with a politically divisive speech to Congress attacking US-led nuclear talks with Iran. The final days of campaigning only served to deepen tensions between the right-wing leader and Washington.
Even as they insisted publicly on non-intervention in the Israeli campaign, Obama’s aides were taken aback by Netanyahu’s reversal of his previous declaration of support for creating a Palestinian state, a longstanding cornerstone of US policy.
Netanyahu also drew a rebuke from the US State Department for suggesting on election day that left-wingers were trying to get Arab-Israeli voters out “in droves” to sway the election against him.
“Netanyahu has managed an uphill climb in the last few days,” said David Makovsky, a former member of Obama’s team in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that collapsed last year.
“The way he has survived was to cannibalize part of the right and also adopt policy positions that are bound to create further friction with Washington,” said Makovsky, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “He’s going to be in the next government one way or another.”
Netanyahu could have the easier path to forming a cabinet, which would put him on course to becoming Israel’s longest serving leader.
That prospect may not bode well for repairing US-Israeli ties after Netanyahu’s congressional speech, which he delivered at the invitation of Obama’s Republican opponents despite strong objections from the president and many of Obama’s fellow Democrats.
US officials had left little doubt of their hope for an election outcome that would create a new ruling coalition more in sync with – or at least less hostile to – Obama’s agenda, especially with an end-of-March deadline looming for a framework nuclear deal in negotiations between Tehran and world powers.
As a prime minister, Zionist Union leader Herzog would be expected to take an Obama-friendlier course less confrontational over Iran and more open to renewed peacemaking with the Palestinians.
It would also be a chance to get past six years of slights, mutual suspicion and even antipathy at the top of the US-Israeli relationship and return to traditional bipartisanship in Congress on the issue of Israeli security.
That will not be easy if Netanyahu remains in office – though some analysts suggest that tensions with Obama could be eased along with the threat of international isolation if the rivals decide to form a broad-based national unity government.
Efforts already were under way in Washington to lower the temperature.
“People say a lot of things during campaigns,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told CNN when asked about Netanyahu’s apparent reversal on Palestinian statehood.
“What we’re focused on is the Israelis moving forward, forming a government and we will work with whoever is prime minister to see if we can make progress in what is a very tough and difficult area to do so,” she said.
Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives Democratic minority leader, said that as someone who loves Israel, she was “near tears” during Netanyahu’s March 3 address, calling his remarks an “insult to the intelligence of the United States.”
But on Tuesday, she said the US-Israeli relationship would stay strong, whoever won, and declined to weigh in before the result on whether Netanyahu’s speech hurt him.
“It’s a very, very … intellectual relationship, security relationship and an emotional one as well,” she told reporters.
Underscoring the partisan divide over Netanyahu, Republican US Senator Ted Cruz said: “His electoral success is all the more impressive given the powerful forces that tried to undermine him, including, sadly, the full weight of the Obama political team.”
What may have have been a harbinger of the opposition party’s was actually a prophetic poll from January of 2014 which showed that most Israelis trusted “The Leader of the Free World” about as far as they could throw Moochelle.
According to new poll, a huge majority of Israelis do not trust President Obama with regard to Iran, and believe Obama will allow Iran to go nuclear. Only 22 percent of Israeli voters believed that Obama would “ensure that Iran does not achieve a nuclear weapon.”
Almost two-thirds of Israelis thought that statement was untrue, and 15 percent gave no answer. President Obama has just a 33 percent favorable rating in Israel, as opposed to a 50 percent disapproval rating. Even those who favor Obama are split evenly on whether or not he will prevent Iran from going nuclear.
After over a year of Petulant President Pantywaist pussy-footing around with the Mad Mullahs of Iran, it is a certainty that those numbers in that poll would be even more skewed today against Barack Hussein Obama.
And, rightfully so.
Barack Hussein Obama, despite his protestations to the contrary, is not a friend of Israel.
In fact, the entirety of Obama’s Foreign Policy Efforts, over both terms, have been nothing but a series of back-handed insults to God’s Chosen People.
From his meeting with Hamas before he was even elected, to his unwavering insistence that Israelis give up half of their country to the Middle Eastern Gypsies, know as Palestinians, “citizens” of a country that never existed, except as a vaguely-defined British Territory, eons ago, the first anti-American President has thumbed his nose at the country of Israel.
From his unwavering support of “Arab Spring” to his entertaining the barbaric Muslim Brotherhood repeatedly in OUR White House, Obama has embraced our sworn enemies and alienated our staunchest ally.
From their birth as a Nation in 1948, Israel and the United States of America have been united against the forces of Radical Islam.
…That is, until Barack Hussein Obama took office, and he and his Administration decided that Muslim Terrorist Acts were just “man-caused disasters”.
Obama has intentionally derided and snubbed Prime Minister Netanyahu over the years, once, even leaving a serious discussion with him, to go have dinner with Mooch and the girls, because Bibi was schooling him, as usually happened, every time they met.
And, of course, who can forget the hissy fit which Obama and all of his Liberal sycophants threw over Netanyahu speaking to Congress about the Iranian Situation, at the request of Speaker John Boehner.
And, now, with Congress beginning the process of investigating whether the president used OUR money in an attempt to have Prime Minister Netanyahu voted out of office, Bibi has once again made Obama look like the petulant dhimmi wuss that he is, by being re-elected.
Hey, Israel…we’ll trade ya!
Until He Comes,