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Dec 5, 2012

Chorus of cries continue against Netanyahu intervention in US election

The issue of Netanyahu somehow trying to influence the US elections in favor of Mitt Romney is an issue that does not seem to go away.

Whether the criticism is accurate or not, it was understandable initially  Since then, Rahm Emanuel has recently criticized Netanyahu about the alleged intervention, Ehud Olmert had his two cents to add, and now the Satmar Rebbe is adding his criticism as well.

Let's not forget that the United States is the expert at influencing elections in countries all around the world, including Israel. The most blatant, perhaps, was when George Bush intervened in Israeli elections in 2002 in favor of Ariel Sharon showering him with goodies and friendship to get the voters to prefer Sharon (source: Haaretz). Simple searches on Google will allow one to discover the entire range of methods of US intervention in all sorts of foreign countries. Who doesn't remember when President Obama discussed what was going on last year in Egypt with the uprising (aka Arab Spring) and criticized Egypt urging them o do more (to the tune of ousting Mubarak), and Egypt rejected the criticism claiming Obama was intervening in their upcoming elections.

Countries try to influence things in their, perceived, favor, and that's the way it is. To say it does not happen is to be blind or ignorant. Some do it better, some do it worse, some are better at hiding it and some are worse at hiding it. But let's not play games as though Netanyahu broke a cardinal rule that the US holds so dear and sacred.

For the US to make such a big deal of this indirect intervention, at best, is silly and hypocritical. And for the Jews and Israelis to keep dredging it up and to continue keeping it alive as an issue of conflict between the US and Israel is irresponsible.



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6 comments:

  1. Every single interviewer, prior to the election, tried to coax Bibi into picking a favorite, and every single time Bibi wouldn't take the bait, saying something like, "I have enough problems with my own politics at home to worry about US elections."

    I have no idea what these people are talking about. If he really wanted to influence the elections, he had ample opportunity to do so. This criticism is complete baloney. Bimhila to the Satmar Rebbe.

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  2. Even if he tried to influence the election, that is not wrong. What he's really being criticized for is backing the wrong horse. That kind of criticism is also not wrong. When you say something, you know you will have to take the consequences. I doubt anyone is losing much sleep over this.

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  3. Obama and Emanuel have both excelled as bullies kicking sand in Netanyahu's face. The truth about anything is the opposite of what they say. Netanyahu owes them nothing but contempt, but unfortunately has to operate in a diplomatic world that people like them dominate (so far!).

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  4. "For the US to make such a big deal of this indirect intervention, at best, is silly and hypocritical." And at worst it is pathetic and disgusting.

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  5. It's just an attempt to change others' opinions. In the US, it's a new anti-Israel tactic. In Israel, it's pre-elections mudslinging. But yes, all foolish.

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  6. IMO you guys are missing the point. It's not about what is good or fair or equal. One of the biggest PR problems that Israel has in the US is the perception that Israeli interests are different from US interests and that Israeli agents have an unfair hold over US politics, paid for by Israel/Jews, and paid *by* American blood. Like it, hate it, agree, disagree. This the climate and this is why it is not prudent for an Israel PM to play into this. Not only that, he seemed to have no clue that Romney was not likely to win, probably because he didn't understand the economic situation in the US, popular sentiment on healthcare, etc. Spend too much time with friendly media, like FOX, and from thousands of miles away Netanyahu did indeed publicly bet on the wrong horse. Not only that, even if he had implied that he wanted Obama - that too would be bad for Israel. Support for Israel in the US needs to be bipartisan. And to Israelis who think that Israel does not want, should not want, or can do without bipartisan support for Israel in the US - keep on dreaming the dream. :)

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