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Monday, November 03, 2014

Haaretz already munching on sour grapes

Haaretz has decided that it knows whom Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to win in Tuesday's US midterm elections, and it's already munching sour grapes over the prospect.
White House staffers don’t need the National Security Agency to guess what results Netanyahu would like to wake up to on Wednesday morning. They believe Netanyahu could integrate well in Congress as a Republican senator from Texas or North Carolina. They know that his envoy, Dermer, is investing most of his time lately meeting with Republican lawmakers, and they also remember that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Netanyahu’s patron and the publisher of his mouthpiece, Israel Hayom, shelled out $100 million to try to defeat Obama.
Speaking of Dermer and Adelson, a few months ago U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with the leader of one of the major American Jewish organizations. When the latter asked Rice why she hadn’t met with Dermer. Rice responded, with her characteristic sarcasm, “He never asked to meet me.”
“Besides, I understood that he’s too busy traveling to Sheldon Adelson’s events in Las Vegas.”
Rice was referring to Dermer’s exceptional attendance as guest of honor at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in March. That event served to prove to Obama’s aides that despite the “new leaf” Dermer had promised when he arrived in Washington only a few months earlier, he continued to dabble in American domestic politics as a sympathizer with the red, Republican side.
Netanyahu is either convinced, or trying to convince himself, that Obama will have limited room to maneuver following a Republican victory. He believes that a Republican victory could help him thwart what Obama and his people have declared is the most important issue foreign policy issue during his second term as president – a historic agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. 
But it’s possible that Netanyahu, who considers himself an expert on America, is again analyzing the situation incorrectly. He is forgetting that when it comes to foreign policy, the ability of Congress to restrict the president is nearly zero. It is equally possible that, particularly after a Republican election victory, that Obama will feel he has nothing to lose. 
Netanyahu is no fool, and he knows well that Congress (unfortunately) has very little power in foreign policy. But if there's a Republican Congress and Israel takes action against Iran, President Hussein Obama's options may well be limited. What Netanyahu won't be able to do is to force the US to act.

And PS - I'm happy that Netanyahu is smarter than American Jews and isn't willing to cast a knee-jerk vote for 'the Democrat.'

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