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Rediff.com  » News » Obama: The world's joy, Israel's disappointment

Obama: The world's joy, Israel's disappointment

November 07, 2012 20:51 IST

While Barack Obama's victory was lauded across the world, there was uneasiness in the Israeli establishment and concerns in the media over whether the US President would try to extract 'revenge' on Premier Benjamin Netanyahu for his tacit backing of Mitt Romney.

Though Netanyahu congratulated Obama on his victory and expressed hopes that they "will continue to work together", other leaders of the ruling parties had a difficult time hiding their disappointment, some openly saying that Obama was not trustworthy.

"The strategic alliance between Israel and the US is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu said in his congratulatory message.

Despite the gesture, Knesset members from the Prime Minister's Likud party expressed their disappointment over Obama's re-election, expressing their hope that Israel would now be pressured into making political concessions.

"Obama is not good for Israel and we're concerned that he will try to pressure Israel into making concessions because of his chilled relationship with Netanyahu," a Likud lawmaker was quoted by Ynetnews as saying.

Another Knesset member, who had expressed his support for Republican candidate Romney noted that the Israeli prime minister would have no choice but to come to terms with Obama's re-election.

"In the end we will have to work with him, and that's what will happen. In spite of the disappointment over this re-election, I believe that Netanyahu and Obama will eventually work together," he was quoted as saying.

Knesset member Danny Danon too expressed his disappointment saying that "Obama cannot be trusted".

"The State of Israel will not surrender to Obama. We have no one to rely on but ourselves," he argued.

The frosty relations between Netanyahu and Obama were highlighted throughout the US election campaign in the Israeli media and the Israeli Premiere's tacit backing of Romney was amply visible.

This led some to believe that the US President would work against Netanyahu in the forthcoming Israeli elections, if elected a second time.

Romney also re-iterated his support for Israel in no uncertain terms accusing Obama of throwing the close ally under the bus and declaring that the Jewish state will be his first stop on the international map.

The ties between Obama and Netanyahu have soured over Israel's policies of continuing building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The us, under Obama, has also resisted Israel's calls for laying down clear "red lines" to stop Iran's nuclear programme.

Harinder Mishra in Jerusalem
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