Daily Israel Report

Former Ambassador: Obama Won't Seek Revenge on Netanyahu

Israel’s former Ambassador to Belgium and Switzerland, Yitzchak Meir: The U.S. has interests in Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/8/2012, 3:16 AM

Obama's victory speech
Obama's victory speech
Reuters

Israel’s former Ambassador to Belgium and Switzerland, Yitzchak Meir, said on Wednesday that he is not worried about the future of Israel-U.S. relations following President Barack Obama's victory in Tuesday’s election.

“The United States has interests in Israel no matter who our Prime Minister is,” Meir told Arutz Sheva. “There are many things that are beyond the personal relationship between the heads of the two countries, so even if the U.S. president did not like the conduct of the Prime Minister who tended to support Romney and the Republicans, it is unthinkable that he would make it an excuse to get revenge on him.”

Meir, currently a member of the Israeli Press Council, said that the Israeli media was very much involved in the campaign and that it must do some soul-searching today.

“Our media was mobilized for the U.S. elections, much more than was really needed,” he said. “We are not of the states and the media excessively engaged in the campaign.”

Meir pointed out that in his first term, Obama did some good things for Israel.

“It’s true that he supported the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria and said some things during his Cairo speech that were later discovered to be naïve, but we must remember that Israel received, during Obama’s first term, unprecedented security support, missiles, weapons and joint maneuvers. The U.S. also got the whole world to impose sanctions on Iran even though it was opposed to a military strike,” he said.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Meir Rosenne predicted on Tuesday, before the results of the elections were known, that Israel will be fine regardless of who wins.

“Even if Barack H. Obama wins a second term, he will not be able to force Israel into following his agenda,” he said. If Obama believes that he can, Rosenne said, he will just “encourage the radicals” in the Arab world.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said on Tuesday that “both President Obama and Governor Romney pledging to continue the long tradition of U.S. support to ensure not only Israel’s ability to defend itself – should the need arise - but its actual right to defend itself. We heard both candidates reaffirm that Israel is our greatest ally in the region, and that we will stand by our friend and ally through thick and thin, defending her security and her legitimacy.”

At the same time, however, MK Danny Danon (Likud) pointed out that Obama was not good for Israel in his first term.

“Obama supported Islam and he paid a very heavy price, he lost sympathy among the Jewish community and in Israel, and many Christians are disappointed in him as well," Danon told Arutz Sheva.