Obibi

As I wrote here two months ago, the numerous predictions about the future relationship between a Netanyahu Israeli government and the new Obama administration tended to suffer from extensive partisanship:

In essence, what Israelis (and Americans) opposed to Netanyahu want is for Obama to help Livni get elected. Namely by making Israelis wary about having a Prime Minister who wouldn’t be able to get along with the next U.S. administration. But by inviting intervention, they assume a risk: If Netanyahu is elected anyway, this will complicate relations between Netanyahu and Obama even more.

Sure enough, Kadima’s (lagging in the polls far behind Netanyahu’s Likud) has this week  adopted the predictable “Netanyahu will clash with Obama” line. And the chatter over Bibi’s ability to handle delicate relations with the Obama team is probably going to take over the campaign in the coming week:

According to Livni, “Obama’s policy could be an opportunity for Israel. He wants to be involved and solve the conflict. His pressure will be directed at those who refuse this process, and Israel must choose whether it’s on the side advancing a peace process or on the side of those refusing it, otherwise there will be an inevitable rift with the United States here.”

It’s the perfect time for a last minute attempt to stop Netanyahu from winning. Later in the week, Israel expects the first visit of the new special envoy, George Mitchell, and which sparks the question: did the new administration decided to send him here in the hope that it will help both Livni and Labor’s Ehud Barak? The Obama people are not naïve, and could have assumed that Mitchell’s visit two weeks before the election might become a political football.

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Obibi

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