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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More short questions and answers from Rosner

JPost's Shmuel Rosner has more short questions and answers here. I'm going to quote a couple of them in full because I have a different take on them than he does.
1. Does Obama want Tzipi Livni to become the Prime Minister?

Short answer: Jeffrey Goldberg says he does. I think it is not as concrete as Goldberg describes it, but generally speaking I'm sure Obama would like it better if Livni we to be the PM. Problem is: She isn't, and from what I hear she might never be. Having talked to a couple of Kadima members in recent days the picture I get is this: They want coalition, want it badly, think it's coming soon, and don't care one bit what Livni thinks. In other words: Even if/when Kadima joins the government, Livni will not play the major role she'd like to play because she isn't even calling the shots in her own party. One should hope the Americans have someone explaining for them the updated realities of the treacherous waters that are Israeli politics.
Maybe in his ideal world Obama would like Livni to be Prime Minister, but even he must know that's not going to happen.

What I understood Goldberg as saying is that Obama is hoping to drive a wedge between Netanyahu and his partners on the Right and to have Livni and Kadima come in and replace them. Obama doesn't like Netanyahu, but he realizes that he's stuck with him.
3. Do most Israelis agree with Netanyahu or with Obama?

Sort answer: We don't have a poll yet, but I do not expect Obama's approval rating in Israel to rise. He got 4%-6% in the past, so the good news is that he can't go any lower.
Obama needs to think about how he's going to get a democracy to do his bidding when he has those kinds of poll numbers and no prospect of raising them.

As to Rosner's 4 and 5, the jury is still out.

Read the whole thing.


At 12:47 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't think much will happen... even if Obama wants it to it would only mean a delay in talks. A strengthened Israeli right wing government would not help him at all in terms of squeezing Israel for further concessions.

He's stuck.


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