Obama’s victory highlights a bad night for the Jewish right

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
electionmap
Election map as of 11 o’clock (pale colors are leaners). Nevada and Ohio later went Obama

One thing seems clear from tonight’s election results: the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, which wanted a war against Iran, has been thumped with Romney’s defeat. Sheldon Adelson and Dan Senor had been successful in politicizing the question of striking Iran; Obama hedged that bet, and he won.

Take it from the Emergency Committee on Israel’s Executive Director, Noah Pollack:

What’s more, the millions of dollars Sheldon Adelson poured into races around the country garnered nothing. Adelson was 0-6 on the night. All the candidates he funded — George Allen, Shmuley Boteach, Adam Hasner, Connie Mack, Allen West and of course Mitt Romney — went down. In addition, the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel’s preferred candidate in the Wisconsin senate race went down.

The Palestinians were losers too. Though the Democratic Party can claim victory tonight, and point to some big progressive wins, and a rainbow coalition for a president CNN describes as leftwing, Democratic candidates avoided the issue of human rights in Palestine like the plague.

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J Street ad from after Obama won.

So expect liberal Zionists to be crowing that this election means that Obama will throw himself into bringing about the two-state solution. But the campaign and election provided no evidence of such an outcome. Israeli colonies in the West Bank were never politicized in the campaign. Obama never mentioned the Palestinians in the third foreign policy debate; Democratic Party leaders positioned Obama to the right of Romney on settlements; and the Democratic Party platform included disgraceful language on Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. The National Jewish Democratic Council was the number one example of this tendency during the campaign.

Netanyahu is another big loser tonight. He made the mistake of casting his lot with Romney in not so subtle ways in September. Obama never accepted Netanyahu’s red lines on Iran; and Romney’s defeat exposes Netanyahu to his own electorate, which votes in January. Jewish Israelis, Netanyahu’s base,  are sure to wonder why they should support a Prime Minister who seems to be on the outs with the American president.

And on the outs with American Jews, too. Despite a rightwing scare campaign about Obama’s policies on Israel– to which Obama was himself cravenly responsive– Jewish voters seem to have cast their ballots on other issues. That is apparent from Josh Mandel’s loss to Sherrod Brown in Ohio and the news from Florida, which Romney was hoping to snare with his neoconservative rhetoric. The state was leaning Obama late at night. CNN exit polling shows that Jews voted for Obama at a margin of 70-30. The Israeli settler movement feels abandoned:

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