Should Obama get involved in Israel’s upcoming elections?

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Peers,I respectfully invite your attention to the article pasted below.  What memories does this article conjure up in your mind?  I have vivid memories of the several times … sometimes in public … that Israel’s Prime Minister attempted to “subordinate” the President of the United States.  At the time, I found it embarrassing to watch.  Netanyahu attempted to humiliate President Obama in oh, such subtle ways.  On one occasion, there in the White House, Bibi seemed to be spitting into the President’s face.  Obama did not lose his dignity (thanks, God).  For subtle reasons (which we can figure out) Obama pretended not to notice.  One wonders how their relationship will evolve and develop now that Obama has been re-elected. 

One also wonders whom the Israelis will choose to lead the “Jewish” state in the future.  Israel’s elections are scheduled to be held on January 22, the day after Obama’s re-inauguration.  Bibi is leading in the polls.  One wonders which candidate TOI will support.  TOI is “The Other Israel” which is the Israeli Peace Bloc.  For a review of TOI, check out:  www.gush-shalom.org… and Uri Avnery (03:29).

Peers, if I were America’s President …. which, of course, I am not …. I would call Benjamin Netanyahu on the telephone this very weekend.  After the usual amenities, I would inform him … simply … in a short declarative sentence:  “Bibi, I have concluded that Iran is not our enemy.”  Netanyahu would be irate, of course.  The never-ending dramantandos would begin.  I would just let him talk.  On and on.  My rebuttal would be:  “Bibi, I have an idea that will save us a lot of time.  I’ll send you a link to a video:  Falk on Palestine, Israel and US (1:06:23).  I would like to discuss Richard Falk’s Weltanschauung with you the next time we meet.  BTW, Falk is Jewish.  Perhaps we can meet on the sidelines at the Helsinki Conference if, of course, Israel can be persuaded to attend.”  Then I would let Bibi talk some more.  I wouldn’t argue with him.  I would find it spiritually dangerous to argue with him.  I might lose my dignity if I were to argue with him.  I might invite him to sit on his thumb and rotate.  No, I would find a civilized way to continue my mission.  I would proceed to the Rose Garden and alert the WHPC that Bibi and I will be discussing the Falk video prior to Israel’s elections.  Peers, please read on.  How do YOU analyze this highly critical situation?

Cheers, Peace, Roy 

Father Roy

Father Roy

Netanyahu Faces ‘Payback’ After Obama Victory?

– Common Dreams staff

“This is probably not a very good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Wednesday.

Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House in 2010. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Netanyahu and his Likud Party had actively supported Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in what Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz described as “a rude, blunt, unprecedented, wanton and dangerous intervention in the United States election.”

On January 22nd, the day after Obama’s re-inauguration, Netanyahu will face Israeli voters in his own attempt to get re-elected.

The Jerusalem Post wrote Wednesday: “Israel is now 76 days away from its own elections, elections the Obama Administration would just as clearly like to see Netanyahu lose, as Netanyahu would rather have liked to see Republican candidate Mitt Romney win on Tuesday night.

Reuters reports:

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.”

Attacking Iran?

The bellicose 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.”

The Guardian reports:

Obama’s reference in his victory speech to moving “beyond this time of war” indicates his strong aversion to military confrontation with Iran.Two issues will characterize the relationship between the US and Israel over the next year. The first is Iran. Netanyahu has, for now, drawn back from his bellicose rhetoric of earlier this year, clearly indicating in his speech to the United Nations in September that Israel was unlikely to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations before next spring or summer.

This followed Obama’s refusal, despite Netanyahu’s best efforts, to be forced into specifying the point at which the US would be prepared to take military action, while insisting that remains an option if diplomacy and sanctions fail to halt the Iranian program.

Israel – the political, military and security leadership, as well as the general public – would much prefer joint action with the US, not least because of questions over Israel’s military capability to strike unilaterally. But Obama’s reference in his victory speech to moving “beyond this time of war” indicates his strong aversion to military confrontation with Iran.

The second issue is progress towards a settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This is the most likely arena for any possible “payback”, especially if Obama decides, as so many previous second-term presidents have, that he wants to make this a legacy issue.

Netanyahu, whose inclination is to “manage” the current situation in which millions of Palestinians live under occupation, rather than advance towards a two-state settlement of the conflict, will attempt to resist pressure.

Background to the Israel and Palestine conflict

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