Thursday, October 21, 2010

Report: Netanyahu is "eagerly awaiting" the results of the US Midterm election

(miamiherald).The Obama administration may be holding its breath to avoid the appearance of all-out collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at least through the midterms after which it feels it may have more opportunity to regroup. But as McClatchy's Sheera Frenkel reports from Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is eagerly anticipating the very same midterms as reason to hope a Republican Congressional takeover could further restrict the Obama administration's room for maneuver:

An official in Netanyahu's office confirmed that Israel's position is to continue seeking compromises through the U.S. midterm elections. He added, however, that Netanyahu's administration is "eagerly awaiting" the results of the election.

"There is a feeling that (President Barack) Obama could increase pressure on us after the election, when he doesn't have to worry about the pro-Israel lobby affecting election outcomes," he said.

An article in a leading Israeli daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, however, quoted "aides close to Netanyahu" saying that if Democrats fared poorly in the midterm elections, Netanyahu would be less likely to give into White House demands.

"Netanyahu and Abu Mazen's (Abbas's) target date is November 3, a day after the midterm elections in the United States. Abu Mazen hopes that Obama will impose an arrangement on Israel," Yediot said. "Netanyahu hopes that he will succeed in repelling the American president's initiative by means of friends of Israel in the House of Representatives, which is expected to have a Republican majority that is opposed to Obama."