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US Elections – an Israeli perspective

06/11/2012

The US elections, this year more than ever before, created major interest in Israel – it may be because Israel increasingly played its biggest role in the campaigning, and would probably be more affected than it ever has been by the end result.

This year, for the first time ever, an Israeli Prime Minister took an active and one-sided part in the US elections, practically publically endorsing one candidate and taking an unprecedented gamble against the current President and with the Israeli elections coming up – we will all see whether this dangerous gamble that Netanyahu took would be politically worthwhile. Which brings us to the question – who should win? Well, due to Netanyhua’s almost public campaign against Obama, many Israelis (generally right-leaning) support Romney – but could more accurately be described as anti-Obama than pro-Romney. This is not based on major policy differences, but more because of image. If Netanyhua dislikes Obama but likes Romney – then maybe it is because Romney is better for Israel.

However, I believe that Netanyahu, and some of his followers, are making an awful mistake. President Obama wasn’t the best President that Israel could have asked for – far from it. He has made some crucial mistakes with regards to the peace process and in his most of his dealings with the public sphere in Israel, and the Middle East as a whole. But then again he is not supposed to be a good President for Israel- he needs to be a good President for America. Because if there is one thing that history proves – it’s that Israel, and the region, needs a strong America, and a strong American President. With the rise of Islamic jihad and the Muslim brotherhood all over the region, the deadlock in the peace process and the continuous threat of a nuclear Iran- we all need a President who is confident enough and knowledgeable enough to make the right calls. This campaign has proven that this man is still Obama. Yes, he is far from perfect, but I would prefer an experienced imperfection with a second term than an off-the-shelf newcomer, new to international affairs, inevitably distracted by his re election.

Regardless of who wins, we all need to pray for one thing – the best of luck and a rapid entry to the White House – because from tomorrow morning – each mistake that they make will become part of history, and we’ve had enough historic errors – all red-white and blue.