Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Monday,
Sep 01st
Home Presidential Elections 2012 Presidential Elections Americans in Israel vote heavily for Romney

Americans in Israel vote heavily for Romney

E-mail Print PDF

Jews watch a live, televised speech of US president Barack Obama at the American Center in Jerusalem, Nov. 7, 2012TEL AVIV — Most Israelis were asleep as the polls closed in America and voters waited for the results, but on one rooftop in central Tel Aviv a party with loud classic rock music and flashing lights was going strong.

It was the pro-Obama election-watching party of Israel’s left-wing Meretz party.

Deviating from a solidly anti-Obama consensus in Israel — a poll showed Israeli Jews preferring Republican challenger Mitt Romney over the president, 59% to 22% — Meretz’ s young members drank, talked and danced around a projection screen alternating between CNN and Israeli news coverage.

Hours later, past 3 a.m. local time, when the results began coming in from Florida and Ohio, two Israeli political diehards sat at the back of the popular American bar Mike’s Place alongside small groups of American tourists and expatriates.

“I saw the four debates,” said Asaf Chen, 27. “Romney hasn’t been president and he came with lots of promises. Obama had four years to do things and he didn’t exactly do it.”

After it became clear that Obama won the election, Israeli officialdom reacted quickly.

“The security relationship between the US and Israel is rock solid, and I look forward to working with President Obama to further strengthen this relationship,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement of congratulations.

“I look forward to working with him to advance our goals of peace and security.”

President Shimon Peres also offered his congratulations.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has praised Obama more than Netanyahu, said he has “no doubt that the Obama administration will continue its policy — whereby Israel’s security is at its very foundations — as well as its efforts to tackle the challenges facing all of us in the region; all the while continuing to strive for further progress in the peace process.”

The PA’s official news service, Wafa, reported that PA President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Obama and encouraged him to continue pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Political analysts, however, warned that there could be obstacles ahead for the two leaders. Netanyahu’s relationship with Obama has been rocky, with public spats over a freeze on West Bank settlement building and the fight against Iran’s nuclear program punctuating the last four years.

DURING the campaign, Netanyahu was seen as favoring Romney, and that could open up Netanyahu to attack in the Israeli campaign leading up to the Jan. 22 election.

But public pressure from Obama could strengthen Netanyahu’s hand in the Israeli contest, which the incumbent is predicted to win.

Israeli analysts said Obama is unlikely to rock the boat of mostly positive US-Israeli relations during his second term, both because he has been chastened by his failure to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front and is likely to be preoccupied with domestic concerns.

“Obama at the beginning of the first term is not Obama now,” said Avraham Diskin, a Hebrew University professor of political science.

“Obama was a great believer in all kinds of solutions, and the reality was quite disappointing.

Concerning Iran, the Muslim world, the PA, he’s much more sober today.”

Tensions could flare between the two countries should Obama attempt to pressure Israel to make concessions in return for US action on Iran, Sandler said. But Sandler said that any US pressure will come only next year or later, as Obama first must set up his new administration and deal with domestic battles.

“In the two months that remain for him, he’ll be too busy with confirmations, forming his government and the economy,” Sandler said.

“He’s not a strong president who can do whatever he wants. He has a divided country.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 November 2012 13:18 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Foreign Affairs Committee’s Royce and Engel to visit Israel

Marcy Oster Reps. Ed Royce and Eliot Engel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will visit Israel this week. ... [Link]

Turkish Jews can stay mum on Israel’s Gaza op, Turkish Jewish intellectuals say

Marcy Oster Jewish citizens of Turkey are under no obligation to comment on Israel’s operation in Gaza, a group of Jewish intellectuals in Turkey said in an open letter. ... [Link]

U.S. calls on Israel to reverse land appropriation

Marcy Oster The United States called on Israel to cancel the government appropriation of West Bank land in the Etzion bloc, while Israeli ministers praised and panned the decision. ... [Link]

Artists in Brazilian exhibition protest Israeli funding

Marcy Oster Most of the artists participating in a major Brazilian art event protested funding for the show from the Israeli government. ... [Link]

Thousands rally against escalating anti-Semitism in Britain

Marcy Oster Thousands of people gathered for a rally in central London to protest the rise in anti-Semitism in Britain. ... [Link]

New children’s books: a tale from Spain, easing a young girl’s pain

mbrodsky Jacqueline Jules was inspired to write “Never Say a Mean Word, A Tale from Medieval Spain” by a Torah commentary she read — more than a dozen years ago. ... [Link]

U.N. peacekeepers flee Syrian rebel captives

Marcy Oster Filipino troops from the U.N. peacekeeping force on the Syria-Israel border escaped from the Syrian rebels holding them captive. ... [Link]

ICC prosecutor: ‘Palestine’ can file war crimes charges against Israel

Marcy Oster “Palestine” is eligible to join the Rome Statute and file war crimes charges against Israel, the International Criminal Court prosecutor said. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com