Obama’s Victory Shocks Israel
“An Ugly Victory”
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Netanyahu's campaign was more successful at home. Israeli Channel 2 performed a poll just before the elections in the USA; 50% of all Israelis backed Romney, versus 26% for Obama. A similar poll conducted by the ultra-Orthodox Channel 10 showed that 50% of secular Jews favored Obama, and 50% Romney; however, religious Jews favored Romney, giving him 85% of their voices. Unluckily for Romney, neither group could vote in the USA.
Panic in Jerusalem
The reason why abovementioned Danny Danon became the main politician quoted on the issue despite his relative obscurity was that Netanyahu panicked after the first reactions were published. Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Chairman of Shas Party, said "This is probably not a very good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." The reason for this statement is clear; if until now the relations between Netanyahu and Obama were not particularly friendly, from now onwards, Netanyahu can count on open hostility. Netanyahu was fast to react, ordering all of his party's ministers and Knesset members to avoid commenting on Obama's re-election without coordinating their statements with the Prime Minister's Bureau. "Don't talk about Obama," Netanyahu was quoted by local media.
In parallel, a witch hunt began among American Jewry. the picture above was taken from the settler Channel 7. It shows the abovementioned Mossad ad next to the main reaction of the channel to the elections. The headline reads "Anger in the USA on Rabbis who supported Obama." The article brings an analysis of David Badin (English spelling may vary), director of a news agency and of a political research center active in Boston and Jerusalem. He explains how his organizations approached hundreds of rabbis all over the US, trying to convince them to endorse Romney and to "teach how much Obama is dangerous to Israel, this would have changed the picture, and Romney would have won." He claims that the rabbis could have changed the situation in several key states. He ends his analysis claiming that if these American Jews "put tfilin (while praying), pray three times a day (in weekdays), but vote Obama, there are serious questions on their ways." He continues "there was here a president who made terrible things. He put anti-Semites in senior positions. He supported Islam... All this must force us to consider the relations between religious-Jews in Israel and America, and why there is such a disconnection between them." This is the closest thing to a formal statement of the settlers on their position. It is unlikely they will find any sympathy in Obama's next term.
Netanyahu is under serious political pressure, due to the upcoming elections on January 22, 2013. He is facing serious social protests at home and needs a war to distract the electorate. It always works. A war with Iran is not possible right now. Yet, Obama's victory may have provided him with a poor man's war. Danny Danon's statement opening this article was not random, and probably was coordinated with Netanyahu. From now until the elections Netanyahu will claim that the USA has become unfriendly and thus the people must unify and brace themselves for hard times. A war of words with America is almost as good as one with Iran.
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