Photo: Zoom 77
Hagai Segal
Photo: Zoom 77

Good news for Israel

Op-ed: It’s not politically correct to say it in Israel, but Obama election defeat good for us

The great fear to show happiness over Barack Obama’s defeat almost gave rise to national mourning around here when news of his midterm election loss arrived. On every Hebrew radio station, an American affairs expert made an effort to cool the excitement. Here and there, the president was being portrayed as a wounded, vengeful animal, and woe is us if we infuriate it now with a stupid smile.


The truth is that while uncorking a champagne bottle on the occasion of the sweeping Republican victory would be an exaggerated move, we can certainly have a toast with some liquor. Obama abused Israel, he now sustained a serious political blow, and this is good for us.


Yet even if we would have seen a last-minute surprise, our situation would not have been fundamentally differently. Capitol Hill is sympathetic to Israel even when it’s controlled by the Democrats. It shows greater understanding to our security needs than our own Knesset.


In any case, our fate always depends more on us than on the American voter’s caprices. We can paraphrase David Ben-Gurion’s famous words here: It doesn’t matter how to gentiles vote, it matters what the Jews do.


Don’t fear Palestinian threats

At this time, what the Jews have to do is stop scaring themselves. Recently, we have seen around here dramatic leveraging of the Palestinian threats to establish a state through a UN decision. According to a hysterical rumor that we keep on hearing in the media, only capitulation to Mahmoud Abbas’ freeze demands would save us from such move, which would turn every Jewish home in Pisgat Ze’ev into a war crime.


Well, if it was that easy, and if our bad neighbors really wanted a state, Abbas would have approached the UN a while ago. Yet as it turns out, despite the rhetorical sympathy for the Palestinians in the international arena, their situation there is less promising than it appears.


Despite their sincere efforts, the Palestinians were not even able to prevent Israel from being accepted into the OECD, so it’s hard to see them passing, in the Security Council, a dramatic decision on the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. European representatives will think 100 times before recognizing a virtual state, and Obama will make the biggest mistake of his life if he fails to impose a veto on it.


Obama’s defeat last week removed any desire he may have still had to anger Jewish voters again. We can assume that he will also fear the reaction of Congress. For the next two years at least, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be able to quarrel with him and survive.



פרסום ראשון: 11.07.10, 11:10
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