Where Does Netanyahu Stand Now?
A letter from Tel Aviv on the impact of Obama re-election
With the dust settling from last night’s election, I received an e-mail from Tel Aviv about what President Obama’s re-election means for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I’ll post what I imagine will be a much different companion e-mail from Jerusalem just as soon as it arrives, but I found this missive to be–in that salty Israeli way–somewhat revelatory. Here’s what it said about Netanyahu:
His dangerous gamble might cost Israel in the long run as he has certainly worked at undermining the bipartisan consensus on Israel. Obama seemed intent, at least in his first term, to throw a huge amount of clout and resources into shoring up the relationship militarily, and I assume this will last, at least for a while.
Bibi seems in a pretty good position, with Moshe Kahlon announcing this week he is taking a sabbatical, after suspicions that he would start his own party and surveys suggesting he would garner a significant number of seats, mostly at the expense of the Likkud and Shas. That was the only foreseeable hope of defeating Bieberman, as far as I can see. Even if Tzipi [Livni] enters the race it’s just to fight over former Kadima voters. The right-wing bloc remains huge and fairly monolithic.
I don’t think Bibi will change policy on any front or look to any new initiatives- did you see in Ha’aretz that the cabinet is considering expanding settlements as punishment for Abbas if he goes to the UN? That sound like a government that even considers the two state solution a good idea?
The fact that this letter didn’t include a peep about Iran is very interesting to me. Also, there is little immediate fear that Israel is going to lose American support, which means that, for some, both presidential candidates did a good job of conveying their message about the endurance of the “special relationship.” Lastly, it’s uncommon to hear the blame for any would-be fissures between the United States and Israel heaped so squarely on the shoulders of Netanyahu. I’m sure MANY will disagree with that idea, but with the election finally over, I would not be surprised if that argument picks up steam in places beyond the White City.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.