Obama and Netanyahu, September 21, 2011. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/ Reuters)
Is our presidential election in November now being played by the Israelis and Netanyahu, who has called for Israeli elections in September? Well of course. But how is the question.
Here is Akiva Eldar in Haaretz predicting that Netanyahu will win, with Obama's help. Obama will be compelled to say over and over in the next few months that he stands by Israel and Netanyahu is a man of peace. Because Israelis actually want someone who will resolve the troubles. And if Obama does anything to question that narrative and undermine Netanyahu, the Israel lobby will go after Obama, as they went after Ehud Olmert and knocked him out of office.
And so, according to Eldar, Obama and Netanyahu will get reelected at the price of any movement on the alleged peace process.
According to surveys, if the public brings the right wing back into power, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be given free rein to forcibly destroy the Iranian nuclear program. He will however receive support for the other plan that Diskin hinted at - the plan to destroy Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas politically and to bury the two-state solution....
According to the surveys, the vast majority of the public that will vote in September believes Netanyahu is desperately interested in renewing the peace talks and that Abbas is the refusenik....
Netanyahu will win the elections in September because until November Obama will continue to recite what his election advisers write for him about America's commitment to Israel's security. There won't be a word about the Israeli government's violation of its commitment to present its position on the subject of borders and security. The settlements have also disappeared from Obama's speeches. Someone must surely have reminded him what the Jewish voters did to George Bush Snr., who on the eve of the 1992 elections dared to make economic aid to Israel conditional on freezing construction on the settlements.
It would be nice if we could have this conversation in the American press. The failure to have it out here will only make Eldar right.
The alternative scenario is my rosy-lens scenario that David Remnick can take down the Netanyahu prime ministership. That he and Peter Beinart, whose book is aimed at Netanyahu, arouse liberal elite opinion, with the result that our press starts to bash Israeli intransigence on the peace process, and Obama does so too, and this creates huge pressure in the Israeli system. Doubtful, but possible. Everything changes. Krugman is upset, so is Rick Perlstein-- all the Jewish journalists who avoided this issue and deferred to neoconservatives/rightwing Zionists are now anguished about the death of the two-state solution. There could be an Arab Spring in our media. Hey, Sarkozy is gone. Who will be next?