Comeuppance for Netanyahu? No, he might run against Obama– and increase daylight between countries

Israel/Palestine
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Netanyahu congratulates U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on the U.S. election. I imagine the unedited version being something like thisAdam Horowitz

The Obama reelection sends a shockwave to Israel, major comeuppance for Netanyahu, who put down his chit in the American elections and lost.

But the early returns suggest that the shockwave won’t dislodge Netanyahu in January. No! There are signs of defiance in Israel. And this could mean growing daylight between the countries’ leaderships.

Danny Danon of the Likud Party is defiant:

“The state of Israel will not capitulate before Obama,” he said.

Obama’s victory “brings home the fact that the state of Israel must take care of its own interests,” he continued. “We cannot rely on anyone but ourselves.”

Bradley Burston  writes that Obama victory might make Netanyahu more defiant too:

Netanyahu may have a world to gain, and nothing to lose, by continuing to thumb his nose at a victorious president….

Polls announced on Israeli television stations on Tuesday pointed the way to a possible Netanyahu strategy based on exploiting Israeli displeasure with, or distaste for, Obama.

Noam Sheizaf agrees that the loss might only make Netanyahu more bolshy:

Some people, also those within the political system, believe that the U.S. elections can affect Israeli voters, and probably swing a few seats away from the prime minister. I seriously doubt this. Netanyahu would have gained some momentum if Romney had won, and the media would have congratulated him for “picking the right horse.” But Netanyahu had survived the first four years of an Obama presidency, and he can live with another term. Netanyahu might actually sell – at least to the right – the line that only he can guard Israeli interests now that we don’t have a genuine supporter in the White House….

The outcome of the U.S. elections is said to encourage former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to join the local race, but Olmert is yet to reach a final decision, and he has no chance of beating Netanayhu in any case.

The alternative view. JTA notes that both Ehud Barak and Shelly Yachimovich of Labor congratulated Obama and mentioned the peace process– “perhaps posturing for their own elections against Netanyahu in January,” Ali Gharib writes in his wrapup:

“I have no doubt that the Obama administration will continue its policy –whereby Israel’s security is at its very foundations – as well as its efforts to tackle the challenges facing all of us in the region; all the while continuing to strive for further progress in the peace process,” Barak said in a statement issued Wednesday morning in Israel….

Yachimovich also wished the president “success in your efforts to promote processes of peace and freedom around the world.”

Sheizaf points out helpfully that the peace process is going nowhere under Obama:

I think the White House has realized that the Israeli-Palestinian issue costs a lot of political capital, but brings very little results. Furthermore, the administration continues to believe in the Oslo framework, as if two decades haven’t passed.

The crisis of the Israel lobby in the US isn’t going away. An anonymous friend says that we can look for even more daylight between the two countries in months to come, and an Obama shift on illegal Israeli colonies at the Security Council (where in 2011 the craven U.S. supplied the veto of a resolution against Israeli colonization).

It puts Netanyahu in a bind as to internal vs external. Lieberman wants Defense. With Obama reelected, that is a death wish. Lieberman at Defense would hinder cooperation with the Pentagon (and his Russo-philic bent would be seen as an added security risk).

Now Dem Jewish interlocutors will have Obama’s back if Netanyahu presses. Netanyahu will have to worry about US abstention at UN Security Council on settlements. Obama punishes the Palestinians at the General Assembly and now can make Netanyahu sweat in the Security council.

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