CiF Watch U.S. Election Open Thread

While the United States elections, and partisan politics more broadly, are not topics consistent with our blog’s mission, the intersection of international politics and the Israeli-Palestinian (and Israeli-Islamist) Conflict is clearly germane to properly contextualizing the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and the region.

As such, feel free to give us your take on last night’s election results, paying particular attention to how the re-election of President Obama will affect Israel, the Middle East and the ‘Arab Spring’.

(Please keep comments on topic)

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44 replies »

  1. This election of an antagonistic president is bad news for Israel and negative for the western world. Obama is unable to distinguish his friends from his foes and seems to me to have grown up in an emotion-free environment.

    If the Republican Party had managed to find a more neutral candidate than the rather bumbling Romney I doubt whether the weather-proof smile would have got in again.

    • This election of a democratic president committed to peace and human rights is great news for Israel and great news for the world. Obama is able to distinguish his friends from his foes and seems to have grown up in an emotion-rich environment where he learnt the true meaning of peace and friendship.

      If the Republican Party had managed to find a more neutral candidate than the rather bumbling, pro-Israeli far rightists Romney I doubt it would had been humiliated like it was yesteraday.

      • I am happy that President Obama was re-elected, but your views of Mitt Romney don’t really correspond to reality (he isn’t a fair-rightist) and beyond not knowing what a more “neutral candidate” would mean–is that a Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter type who happens to be a Reupblican?–he also wasn’t “humiliated” in this election. He lost. Someone loses every election.

        • Mitt Romney suffered a crushing, humiliating defeat after demonstrating an utter lack of leadership and knowledge.

          He cannot be compared to John Mc Cain, who lost the previous election but kept his honour and is respected to this day, including by political opponents.

          • In short, I don’t agree with you, you don’t agree with me, the comparison with John McCain was a strawman (and I am pro-McCain), we both put our views down for posterity, and G-d bless you.

          • Nat,
            You’re clearly nuts. Almost half the country voted for Romney. How is that a crushing, humiliating defeat? And, no, I didn’t vote for him.
            Romney won in most counties across, but lost in urban areas.

          • I was referring to your first comment, Ben.
            But are correct the Nat’s comparison of Romney to McCain is certainly a straw man.

        • “O doesn’t need to stand another reelection, he ran his campaign from hard left, and won, proving that the left no longer needs the middle.”

          That assessment is based on exactly what?

    • Margie,
      I think it’s unfair to say that Romney was bumbling. He actually ran a good campaign, but lost to a slightly more popular candidate.

      • Perhaps you’re right.
        I based my comment on his tendency to say the unexpected and the unwelcome. h
        His remark about his hosts the UK running the Olympic Games badly was one and another was the crit of 47% of Americans.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Margie.

    One question I have concerns whether US Sec of State Clinton will stay on for another four years. It’s known she has her eyes on the Presidency in 2016.

  3. It will be interesting to see who President Obama nominates for Secretary of State if the present one resigns. Although “the buck stops with the President” the attitude and actions of whoever has the role of Secretary of State will also be very important for Israel and peace in the Middle East.

  4. Margie”Obama is unable to distinguish his friends from his foes and seems to me to have grown up in an emotion-free environment.”

    This was Obama in response to Romney ”If we’re going to talk about trips that we’ve taken – when I was a candidate for office, the first trip I took was to visit our troops. And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.

    And then I went down to the border town of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms, and I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids – which is why, as President, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles. So that’s how I’ve used my travels, when I traveled to Israel and when I traveled to the region.”

    • Shorty, you may be surprised to read that the people of Sderot were indignant that Obama used their sufferings as fodder for his campaign. He had seemingly forgotten about them for his 4 years of presidency but now in order to win the Jewish vote – apparently significant – he had suddenly remembered them.

          • Margie, I travelled to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities during the latest spate in rockets. As people in Sderot worried about their children, Israelis in other cities were partying hard and did not seem to care.

          • I was actually surprised to see that Israelis did not seem to care about people living in Sderot much. I remember talking with people in a bar about the fact that people in South Israel were threatened with rockets while they were having fun. Someone told me: “These people should move to safer cities. That Sderot is not safe is nothing new, so why stay there?”

            This is why I am not under the impression that Israelis are interested in what’s happening in southern Israel. I had the feeling that they were tired of hearing about it, but I’d be interested to hear your views on this, maybe you saw something different where you live.

          • Israel has lived with hostile rockets for decades. First it was Kiryat Shmoneh suffering under the barrage of Katyushas from Lebanon and then it was from Gaza in the South. We went to war with both. 93% of Israelis (I believe both Jews and non-Jews) agreed that we needed to go into Gaza and stop the torture that the Negev endures. If we had been indifferent this would never have happened.

            I’ve never understood how people could live under those conditions. The threat of this happening from the west bank is always before us and so peace without solid guarantees will not be easily granted.

  5. Obama’s victory spells disaster for the free and liberal world. Obama now has the world media, academia and unions at his feet, they’ll cover up for him no matter what. I can only see bad times ahead and feel that Israel will be isolated and her enemies will become more brazen now that they have their man, once again, in the WH.

    • “Obama’s victory spells disaster for the free and liberal world. Obama now has the world media, academia and unions at his feet, they’ll cover up for him no matter what. ”
      I’m not sure about that, Steff. Second terms are where many presidents run into trouble.

  6. This may be the best chance to get rid of Netanyahu if Obama actually does put the screws to Israel, to influence the election in Israel.

    I doubt he will, unless he and Hilary, if she stays, pull a Bush-Baker.

    He has been one of Israel’s most supportive US Presidents in fact, not in fiction, and I think that his views on the ME have matured somewhat. Still, he has much to learn, and I have no doubt the Arabs and Iranians will provide him with the lesson one way or another.

  7. Obama doesn’t win if not for the mainstream media. There’s simply no way Bush could’ve survived a Benghazi 911 attack/cover-up, etc. and beaten Kerry. Imagine a Republican candidate with a bigoted pastor like Obama had. The media would’ve been relentless. The American economy is worse than it’s been in decades, but where’s the press doing their 24/7/365 interviews of homeless single parent families or elderly people who can’t make ends meet?

    This is a rigged game. It’s the same Leftist press that’s hostile to Israel. And you can bet Obama isn’t “Leftist” enough for the press either. He’s just the best they’ve got. If they could replace him with someone even more radical, they would.

    • Do you really think the auto workers in Ohio read the “left wing mainstream press”?

      I rather doubt it.

      But they know when they have jobs and when they didn’t have jobs.

      • Ohio isn’t the USA. But let’s assume Obama is good enough on the economy. On foreign matters, Benghazi alone should’ve led to him being routed by Romney. Bush would’ve been defeated conclusively by Kerry in 2004 if all this had happened then. It’s scary how much power the MSM wields.

        • “Ohio isn’t the USA.”
          I think you’re missing AKUS’s point here. Ohio is the USA, and a very important state in presidential electoral politics. Domestic concerns almost always trump foreign policy, and even more so in bad economic times.

    • Never trust CNN etc. ever again. Now before anyone shouts Fox!, let me tell you, first, its a lone Conservative canoe in a hostile sea of Lefty anti-Israeli pro-Hamas/Islamist US media and secondly, I watched the build up to the elections and it made at least some effort of being fair and balanced, whereas the other lot just threw away all their credibility and became the voice of Obama. US press is the most biased in the world. Now I know there our BBC gets it from.

  8. Obama will go down in history as the man who drew the curtains on western civilasation to dress the prop cupboard together with the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians amongst others. Israel of course will survive. Already she is forging relations elswhere like India.

  9. “Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the “new wonderful good society” which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean “more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious”.”

    ― Marcus Tullius Cicero