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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Netanyahu's anti-Obama shield

I kept meaning to post that Prime Minister Netanyahu has moved the Likud elections up to January 31. I thought he was just trying to take advantage of the fact that he is quite popular right now in Israel. And he is. But the election now may not just be a reflection on Netanyahu's popularity within the Likud.
Hanan Krystal, Israel Radio's political analyst, said Netanyahu might also opt to bring forward the next Israeli general election, due in November 2013, should Obama look likely to beat Republican rivals in the U.S. ballot.

Resented among Jewish and conservative Christian voters over his handling of the Netanyahu government, Obama last week promoted his administration's efforts to secure Israel from foes like Iran.

"At the highest echelons, they have long been saying that if Obama is elected for a second term, the carrot will be replaced by a stick," Krystal said.

"In other words, the election of Netanyahu in January or February to head the Likud allows him to bring the (general) election forward in accordance with Obama's prospects, which are currently good," he said, adding that, if rescheduled, the national ballot would likely be held in mid-2012.

An Israeli government official said Netanyahu was keeping to the November 2013 general election date.

"There is no reason why the government should not serve its full term," the official said. "The coalition is stable."

The Likud straddles a wide conservative-religious coalition, but cracks have appeared among some of Netanyahu's key allies.
The problem in the US is that the Republicans have not coalesced around a candidate yet. But would an Obama win kill Netanyahu's prospect of reelection (as Kristal is hinting)? I don't buy that.

Well, for what it's worth, I got followed on Twitter tonight by Netanyahu2012.

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At 11:17 AM, Blogger Eliana said...

It seems to me that Netanyahu is thinking that he'd rather go through another election while Obama is limited in what he can do to Israel because of Obama's own re-election concerns.

Setting up another strong government that wouldn't be facing elections until 2016 or later would keep a more aggressive Obama from interfering in 2013 elections.

I think it's a smart move if there seems to be any reasonable chance in 2012 of Obama winning later in the year. Netanyahu should assess this when he has to make a decision about the next elections.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

BTW, one caution would be not to agitate too much re the "Jewish vote". The media talks about it all the time, even though it is only 6 mil out of 320+ mil total. The $donations from the Jews - yes, that counts way above the demographic weight. But going along with or echoing an inaccurate case for Jewish votes can result in yet more pressure and scapegoating. Just my experienced opinion.


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