Obama win - a blow for Israeli PM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday congratulated Barack Obama on his victory, saying that the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States is stronger than ever. "I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the vital security interests of the United States and Israel," promised Netanyahu, whose relations with the U.S. president are notoriously strained.
Israel's Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, quoted by the Army Radio said, for his part, he felt no doubt that President Obama will continue his policy which is based on support for Israel. "I am confident in the possibility of overcoming the differences in the positions of both countries if they appear," said Barak.
Deputy Prime Minister of Israel Silvan Shalom also told public radio that all U.S. administrations are in favor of Israel's political, security or economic interests because "we share common values."
He added: "Barack Obama has been with us in sensitive times. Those who say it will be hard and there will be confrontations during the second term of Barack Obama are wrong," said Shalom said. He, however, admitted that there was a gap between the two countries on the calendar on how to manage the Iranian nuclear issue.
In September, Mr. Netanyahu had long pressed the White House to impose on Tehran "red lines" over its nuclear program, threatening to strike Iranian nuclear facilities preemptively. However, he encountered a refusal by President Obama.
Meanwhile, Labour MP Avishay Braverman, has, however, criticized Netanyahu, accusing him of having committed for three years the mistake of supporting extreme right-wing Republican candidate Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.
Observers expect Israeli Prime Minister might "pay the price" of his support for Mitt Romney. According to them, deep differences separate the two men including Iran and the peace process with the Palestinians, which is frozen for over two years. The US president should push for a slowdown in construction in Israeli settlements in order to revive talks with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.