Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Where Does Netanyahu Stand Now?

A letter from Tel Aviv on the impact of Obama re-election

Print Email

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.

Earlier: On the New Bieberman Super Party
Kahlon: The Not-Running Man [Times of Israel]
Israel May Expand Settlements if PA Seeks UN Upgrade [Haaretz]
Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

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.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at 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.

Poupic says:

With Adam Chandler Israel doesn’t need enemies. He received an email from Tel Aviv! Congratulation! Then Haaretz is his source of Israeli journalism, a paper with no readership and no known sources of support. Typical US Jew who voted for anti- Semite Obama who wants to take away Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish nation and never an Arab capital even when they held it for centuries. Next Pesach thanks to anti- Semite Obama Jews world wide will be have to say next year in Al Qudz were Jews will not be able to live according to his loved politician Abbas

    American Jews also great lovers of FDR who did nothing nothing to save Jews in Europe.His party controlled Congress could’ve voted to let European Jews in but he did nothing. his middling in the economy. Made depression last twice as long. putting the Japanese American’s in camps. Even when the head of the FBI said they were not a threat.

jan sobeski says:

Obama will begin the demonization of Israel soon. He’ll first strike a “grand bargain” with Iran for them to keep their nukes and then dare Israel to retaliate against his wishes. He will fully embrace Morsi much like he did Erdogan, even in the face of threats to destroy Israel. He will farm out surrogates to his base to start a drumbeat of hostility against the Jewish state for them to withdraw from the 67 lines.

When you have to pay lip service to the importance of the relationship, I think it’s a pretty good sign there is trouble on the horizon. Remember that informal referendum on the status of Jerusalem at the Democratic National Conventional, and all the heckling and boos the results elicited. That segment of the party is ascendant for the discernible future, and without any compelling reason to throw popular support of any kind to Israel. This is the upshot of Netanyahu’s eggs-in-one-basket approach to relations with the U.S. I think that he, Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney have been throwing fairy dust in one another’s eyes, and now Romney is gone, and Netanyahu doesn’t have any more leverage. I’d like to believe the opposition in Israel might capitalize on this signal failure of Bibi’s, but they none of them really seem like winners. Very, very bad for Israel long-term.

    The words “social justice” are absent from Bibi’s vocabulary

      social justice what in the hell does that mean is that social justice I worked my tail off. And you take my money . The left controlled Israel since 48. Today they have as much chance as electing the Prime Minister as I have becoming prime minister. Israelis are tired of the left and the loony peace movement. Israel is one of the strongest economies In the world .Because of the free enterprise system. Not social justice freedom not Jealousy hard work not Victim hood my religious duty to help Poor and is not the government’s Job details where my money goes

The loser of losers are Netanyahu who is an unhinged fanatic, Avigdor Lieberman who is an avowed racist, and finally the Vegas showman of all showman – Sheldon Adelson…get a new bag boys.

wishnitz says:

Let me just say this to all posters. On pessach , at the seder, we say a prayer that affirms that,ultimately, we will overcome any tyrant. The same will befall Obama if he dares to mess with Israel. Mark my word. Bibi will win the election comfortably and will strike Iran when we least exepct it.

rabbitonyjutner says:

I hope Obama signs a nonaggression pact with Iran and dumps the zionist entity

PhillipNagle says:

Just remember Israel’s fall back position is 200+ nuclear warheads.

Beatrix17 says:

Didn’t Tablet have an
article about the death of the left in Israel? Your friend has to
write to an American liberal because he can’t find many Israeli ones.

Did the left forget
Obama’s reaching out to Abbas and starting this fol de rol about
settlements that killed the peace negotiations and that has given the
Arabs and the world anti-Israeli propaganda ever since? Before
this, settlements were extraneous to the Palestinians. Israel wasn’t
consulted before Obama did this.

The only reason that
Obama started supporting Israel was because Romney did and they both
had to show who loved Israel the most before the upcoming election.
After a 68% Jewish vote for Obama, the Republicans are through with
us, and I’ll betcha Obama is, too.

    youhaveaproblem says:

    SOUNDS RIGHT TO ME………….!!! Your only problem is Obama always was through with the Jews…… his book on page 216 Obama stated “I will stand with the Muslims”……….there you go pal………..68% voted for this traitor………you get what you voted for…….!!

It’s not about Netanyahu. If you think that Obama will magically love Israel with a labor government your crazy. America and Israel are screwed. And evidently 70% of my fellow Jews here don’t give a shit


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Where Does Netanyahu Stand Now?

A letter from Tel Aviv on the impact of Obama re-election

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview