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      Obama Official: Netanyahu Waiting for ‘President Palin’

      The Netanyahu government’s attitude to the US shows it is “waiting for President Palin,” an Obama official reportedly told a US journalist.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 6/8/2010, 8:59 AM / Last Update: 6/8/2010, 12:05 PM

      The Netanyahu government’s attitude to the United States shows it is “waiting for President [Sarah] Palin, an Obama official reportedly told Peter Beinart, writing for the Atlantic Monthly news site. Palin was the Republican candidate for vice president two years ago and is considered a front-running candidate for the next presidential election in 2012.

      “As an Obama official once told me about the Netanyahu team, with amazement, ‘these guys are actually waiting for President Palin,’” wrote Beinart, a senior political writer for The Daily Beast and associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York.

      In a critical article noting that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and senior government officials preach to the chorus of right-wing and Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States, Beinart cited the American education and background of the Prime Minister and senior aides. Prime Minister Netanyahu learned at a Philadelphia high school and his close adviser Ron Dermer and Ambassador to the United States were born there.

      He maintained that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reaction to the flotilla crisis “shows just how out of touch he is with America” while ignoring what Beinart said is the “need to join the age of Obama.”

      “This familiarity breeds overconfidence and ignorance,” Beinart argues. “When Netanyahu travels to Washington, he speaks before Jewish audiences that mostly dislike Barack Obama’s Israel policy, even though according to a recent American Jewish Committee survey, American Jews overall support it by a margin of close to two to one. When he’s not speaking to right-wing Jews, he’s speaking to right-wing Christians. And when he’s not speaking to right-wing Christians, he’s speaking to former Bush administration officials who expect to soon be back in their old jobs.”

      Beinart also asserted that today’s Arab leaders, such as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who learned at an American university, support non-violence. Beinart contrasted him with Yasser Arafat, although Fayyad is often careful to be photographed with a picture of Arafat in the background.