Obama's Victory Shocks Israel
Nov. 7, 2012
Yedioth Aharonot: “An Ugly Victory”
Emphasizing the wild reaction of the Hebrew media and Israel’s upper echelon of politicians to Obama’s victory, Mossad opened on the same day a recruiting campaign over the internet. Its ads appeared next to pictures illustrating the victory, creating an eerie image. Is Mossad about to gear up sinister old plans for a presidential assassination? Beginning this article in such a fashion is justifiable due to the violent reactions voiced in Israel. One of the softest belonged to Yedioth Aharonot—Israel’s largest newspaper—which read “An Ugly Victory.” The most quoted reaction belonged to Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon, who said "the State of Israel will not surrender to Obama. We have no one to rely on but ourselves."
Netanyahu - Obama
Mossad Recruiting Ad
This was the unsuccesful end of Netanyahu's open campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The support included a well-advertised visit to Jerusalem, supporting articles in the Israeli and Jewish media, the disclosure of their old personal friendship which dates back to 1976 (see Romney, Obama, and the Israeli Vote), and the inclusion of Netanyahu in Romney's adds. Moreover, the main financial supporter of Netanyahu is Sheldon Adelson, an American Jew who is among America's richest men, his businesses are centered on the Chinese gambling industry. He openly endorsed Romney and contributed at least $40 million to his presidential elections campaign. This unusual intervention in other country's elections was aimed at placing in the White House a president that will be more receptive to Israel's plans to attack Iran (see Romney’s Key in Israeli Attack on Iran). On August 30, 2012, the International Atomic Energy Agency published a report on the nuclear program of Iran. The report claims that Iran is speeding up its uranium enrichment program, having placed more than three quarters of the centrifuges it needs for completing it in a practically impenetrable underground installation, beneath a mountain outside Qum. This means that Iran is close to crossing what Israel had defined as its red line: the capability to produce nuclear weapons in a safe location. With Obama in the White House, Israel's belligerency is likely to be blocked.
Netanyahu's campaign was more successful at home. Israeli Channel 2 performed a poll just before the elections in the USA; 50% of all Israelis backed Romney, versus 26% for Obama. A similar poll conducted by the ultra-Orthodox Channel 10 showed that 50% of secular Jews favored Obama, and 50% Romney; however, religious Jews favored Romney, giving him 85% of their voices. Unluckily for Romney, neither group could vote in the USA.
Mossad Recruiting Ad | "Anger in the USA on Rabbis who supported Obama"
Panic in Jerusalem
The reason why abovementioned Danny Danon became the main politician quoted on the issue despite his relative obscurity was that Netanyahu panicked after the first reactions were published. Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Chairman of Shas Party, said "This is probably not a very good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." The reason for this statement is clear; if until now the relations between Netanyahu and Obama were not particularly friendly, from now onwards, Netanyahu can count on open hostility. Netanyahu was fast to react, ordering all of his party's ministers and Knesset members to avoid commenting on Obama's re-election without coordinating their statements with the Prime Minister's Bureau. "Don't talk about Obama," Netanyahu was quoted by local media.
In parallel, a witch hunt begun among American Jewry. the picture above was taken from the settler Channel 7. It shows the abovementioned Mossad ad next to the main reaction of the channel to the elections. The headline reads "Anger in the USA on Rabbis who supported Obama." The article brings an analysis of David Badin (English spelling may vary), director of a news agency and of a political research center active in Boston and Jerusalem. He explains how his organizations approached hundreds of rabbis all over the US, trying to convince them to endorse Romney and to "teach how much Obama is dangerous to Israel, this would have change the picture, and Romney would have won." He claims that the rabbis could have changed the situation in several key states. He ends his analysis claiming that if these American Jews "put tfilin (while praying), pray three times a day (in weekdays), but vote Obama, there are serious questions on their ways." He continues "there was here a president who made terrible things. He put anti-Semites in senior positions. He supported Islam... All this must force us to consider the relations between religious-Jews in Israel and America, and why there is such a disconnection between them." This is the closest thing to a formal statement of the settlers on their position. It is unlikely they will find any sympathy in Obama's next term.
Netanyahu is under serious political pressure, due to the upcoming elections on January 22, 2013. He is facing serious social protests at home and needs a war to distract the electorate. It always works. A war with Iran is not possible right now. Yet, Obama's victory may have provided him with a poorman's war. Danny Danon's statement opening this article was not random, and probably was coordinated with Netanyahu. From now until the elections Netanyahu will claim that the USA has become unfriendly and thus the people must unify and brace themselves for hard times. A words' war with America is almost as good as one with Iran.