Jonathan Mann
Photo: CNN
Obama and Romney
Photo: AFP
CNN, TAU hold panel on US elections and Israel
CNN's Jonathan Mann hosts panel at TA University on presidential election, its implications for Israel

Eight days before Americans are set to vote for president, Tel Aviv University and CNN held a panel titled "The US elections: Why does it matter to us?"


The event was hosted by Jonathan Mann, a longtime CNN reporter.


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The panelists addressed the ties between Israel and the United States, and discussed the relationship's effect on the voters. Other topics on the agenda included the implications of the elections for the Jewish state and the Iranian nuclear program.


The experts on the panel include attorney Dov Weissglass, who served as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bureau chief, former Minister Yossi Beilin, the chief of Tel Aviv University's diplomacy program, Professor Yossi Shain, and journalist Dana Weiss.


Weiss told the panel that for the Israelis it will be interesting to see whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was a wise one.


'Obama to jumpstart talks'

Beilin said Israel is aware that President Barack Obama will try to jumpstart the stalled peace process while Romney, according to the former minister, will do the opposite. Beilin claimed that the US elections will likely have a greater influence on Israel than the January elections for the 19th Knesset.


He said the fact that Obama and Romney have mentioned Israel on numerous occasions throughout the campaign is a testament to the importance of the American Jewish community.


Asked by a Ynet reader if the Israelis have anything to learn from the electoral process in the US, Weiss said that when Obama sat next to Romney and awaited his turn to speak while listening to the Republican candidate's attacks, she thought to herself: "This is democracy."


Addressing the Iranian issue, Weiss said the Israeli government is disappointed by Washington's handling of the nuclear crisis, but claimed Jerusalem is pleased with the White House's policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians.




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