Israelis Ponder Meaning of Four More Years

Some Celebrate Obama's Win While Others Worry

getty images

By JTA

Published November 07, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has praised Obama more than Netanyahu, said he has “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.”

The Palestinian Authority’s official news service, Wafa, reported that PA President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Obama and encouraged him to continue pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Political analysts, however, warned that there could be obstacles ahead for the two leaders. Netanyahu’s relationship with Obama has been rocky, with public spats over a freeze on West Bank settlement building and the fight against Iran’s nuclear program punctuating the last four years.

During the campaign, Netanyahu was seen as favoring Romney, and that could open up Netanyahu to attack in the Israeli campaign leading up to the Jan. 22 election.

“Left-wing parties will say Netanyahu committed himself to Romney, and now it’s going to deteriorate the relationship between Israel and the U.S.,” said Avraham Diskin, a Hebrew University political science professor.

But public pressure from Obama could strengthen Netanyahu’s hand in the Israeli contest, which the incumbent is predicted to win.

“If he’s too rough with Netanyahu, it will be counterproductive,” said Bar-Ilan University professor Shmuel Sandler. “It will make people rally around Netanyahu. People don’t like when someone from outside pressures us.”

In any case, Israeli analysts said Obama is unlikely to rock the boat of mostly positive U.S.-Israeli relations during his second term, both because he has been chastened by his failure to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front and is likely to be preoccupied with domestic concerns.

“Obama at the beginning of the first term is not Obama now,” Diskin said. “Obama was a great believer in all kinds of solutions, and the reality was quite disappointing. Concerning Iran, the Muslim world, the Palestinian Authority, he’s much more sober today.”

Tensions could flare between the two countries should Obama attempt to pressure Israel to make concessions in return for U.S. action on Iran, Sandler said. But Sandler said that any U.S. pressure will come only next year or later, as Obama first must set up his new administration and deal with domestic battles.

“In the two months that remain for him, he’ll be too busy with confirmations, forming his government and the economy,” Sandler said. “He’s not a strong president who can do whatever he wants. He has a divided country.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.