Likud Leader: Israel Must not Bend for Obama
Israel will not bend for President Barack Obama, despite his re-election victory, World Likud leader and Knesset Member Danny Danon said Wednesday. The Ichud Leumi (National Union) party declared the results an “award to the Israeli left wing.”
“Obama’s victory demonstrate that Israel needs to worry abut its interests," said MK Danon. "I have no one on whom to rely outside of ourselves. Obama has hurt the United States by his naïve leadership in foreign policy, which prefers the Arab world over the Western world, along with Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Obama on his re-election, saying that "the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States is stronger than ever." He added, "I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the vital security interests of Israel and the United States."
He said he will meet later Wednesday with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.
Relations between Obama and Netanyahu have at times been tense, with the Israeli leader appearing to throw his support behind Obama's Republican opponent Mitt Romney during the election campaign, according to AFP.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, considered to be one of the Obama administration’s closest friends in Israel, congratulated the president. “I have no doubt that the Obama administration will continue its policy of supporting the security of Israel and make all efforts to meet the challenges in our region while working to advance the peace process,” he said.
Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom offered a similar assessment. "All the U.S. administrations have supported Israel on the political, security and economic fronts because we have common interests and values," he told public radio.
"Barack Obama has been with us during the most sensitive moments," he added. "Those who say that it will be hard and that there will be a confrontation during the second Obama term are wrong."
The Ichud Leumi (National Union) said, “The victory of Obama is an award for the Israel left-wing. The upcoming elections in Israel will be over a national coalition that will help Netanyahu face pressures.
“The Jewish coalition is strengthening with the breakdown of the barriers between the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) and the National Union against a leftist coalition with Yair Lapid and Aryeh Deri” in the Yesh Atid (Future) and Shas parties, respectively.