Daily Israel Report

Obama 'Doesn’t Forget Anything', Says Barak

Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Obama won't forget Netanyahu's support for Romney, but doubts he'll make life difficult for him.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/8/2012, 6:41 AM

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

The President of the United States “doesn’t forget anything,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday.

Barak, who spoke to Channel 10 News, was asked whether he believed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney would have an adverse effect on Israel after Obama’s election victory.

"I do not know what Obama thinks. He is very intelligent and he does not forget or erase anything,” Barak said.

At the same time, he added, “But I do not think he will handle relations among countries based on such things.”

Barak said that he is sure that the “exceptional” security cooperation between the United States and Israel will continue. He added that he is sure that after they finish addressing urgent domestic affairs, Obama and his administration will deal with the issue of the Palestinian Authority.

"I'm sure this administration will in handle the Palestinian issue in a few months,” he said. "We and the Americans have a common and urgent interest in preventing the Palestinian bid at the United Nations.” Barak said that he does not believe that the Americans will try to interfere in the elections in Israel in January.

Referring to the Iranian issue, Barak said, “We do not dictate to the United States what to do and it does not dictate to us.” He added that if the Americans go for a short round of talks with the Iranians, Israel will not object.

As Obama was declared the winner of the 2012 presidential elections, there were some who suggested that he might make life difficult for Netanyahu over his support for Romney.

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.

“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.”

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.

Prof. Eytan Gilboa, an expert on U.S.-Israel relations, warned on Sunday that a second term for Obama could mean bad news for Israel.

“I am concerned that if Obama and Netanyahu are both re-elected, Israeli -U.S. relations are expected to go through a difficult period, for at least the first year of Obama’s second term,” Gilboa told Arutz Sheva.

He noted the bad blood been between Obama and Netanyahu during Obama’s first term, and added that, given the fact that a second-term president has nothing to lose since he cannot run again, Obama will remember all the setbacks between him and Netanyahu.