Haaretz used most of its November 7 issue covering it. Doing so reflects the importance of America to Israeli interests.
Netanyahu and Obama don't like each other. Nonetheless, the Israeli prime minister extended congratulatory best wishes, saying:
"The strategic alliance between Israel the U.S. is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama to protect the security interests of Israeli citizens."
Expect both leaders to continue working with each other normally. Personal likes and dislikes won't interfere. Even when doing so harms US interests, American presidents and Congress yield to Israeli Lobby pressure.
In September, a nonbinding sense of the Senate resolution reminded Obama in case he forgot. At issue was open friction with Netanyahu.
Senators voted 90 - 1 for action against Iran to prevent it developing nuclear weapons. It was a thinly veiled pro-Netanyahu motion. Senators supported him over their own president. It shows the power of Israeli influence in America.
Netanyahu accepted Obama's victory. He expressed certainty of continued US support. It's forthcoming no matter who governs both countries.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated Obama first, saying:
"I have no doubt that the Obama administration will continue with its policy of supporting Israel's security, and with its effort to confront the obstacles facing all of us in our region, to help advance the political process."
"I believe that in the tradition of the deep friendship we have formed with President Obama, we will be able to overcome the difference of positions as much as possible. I wish Obama success in all the tasks before him."
Other Israeli Knesset members and US ambassador Michael Oren extended their own best wishes. Relations between both countries won't change.
Exit polls showed Obama won 69% of America's Jewish vote. Gallup estimated he'd win from 65 - 70%. In 2008, he got nearly 75%.
Haaretz contributor Amos Harel said "Iran to take center state again on" Obama's agenda. He never "threw Israel under the bus." He prioritizes what's important to both countries. They're in lockstep on most issues. Very much so on Iran.
Longstanding policies pursue regime change. At times, tactics and timing differences surface.
Obama "is the first American president to back up the tough public line against Iran with even tougher sanctions, and it was he who more than any previous president contributed toward the strengthening of defense aid to Israel, as Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated in a line that was widely quoted by the Democrats in their effort to court the Jewish vote."
Americans vote their pocketbook and other domestic issues. Foreign policy is secondary except in times of war when sentiment is strongly pro or con. It doesn't happen often.
Harel said expect Obama to focus heavily on Iran. Robert Satloff, executive director for the pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), said he'll soon present Tehran with a "big program."
"Big" for Washington won't likely please Iran. US policy is all take and no give. Whatever's offered won't change regime change plans. Tehran justifiably is wary.
Satloff claims a comprehensive deal will be proposed in exchange for Iran abandoning its legal nuclear program. Expect it to fall flat. If so, says Satloff, military measures may follow.
Netanyahu's "red line" will get more headlines. His electoral campaign will prioritize it. Fear is a powerful motivator. Western media will support him. Expect a bogus Iranian threat to take center stage. Obama has lots more on his plate at home and abroad.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym. He formerly worked for CIA. Currently he serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. It's a congressional advisory board. On November 3, he headlined "It's official! Iran Fulfills Obama Surprise," saying:
In secret negotiations with Washington, Iran agreed "to suspend uranium enrichment to the 20 percent level for its nuclear program."
Iran's Mohammad Hassan Asfari, a National Security and Foreign Policy Commission parliamentary member, said in return Tehran wants all sanctions ended.
Iran's halt was a goodwill gesture. It requires Washington responding in kind.
"In order to build trust, the Islamic regime has set aside the 20 percent enrichment process. It is expected that the 5+1 will remove the sanctions. If such action does not take place, Iran will continue with its process of reaching peaceful nuclear energy," said Asfari.
Iran's Fars News Agency denied the report. Enrichment continues, it said. Asfari reworded his original statement from Tehran halted enrichment to suspending it will occur to show good will.
Obama likely wanted something concluded pre-election. It's not clear if he got it. US media reports didn't say so. An unnamed source claimed Washington passed on a message intended for Ayatollah Khamenei.
Allegedly it requested Tehran announce a deal pre-election. Nothing official was forthcoming. Iranian officials dismissed reports. General Mohammad Reza Naghdi denounced it, saying:
"It is delusional to think that any contacts with America will reduce threats because America itself is the threat."
According to the Revolutionary Guards' Javan Online publication, Naghdi added:
"America must close all its military bases in fifty countries of the world and remove all its naval assets from the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, taking them to its own shores."
"America must also dismantle the CIA…and must officially announce that it will not support the (Israeli) Zionist regime."
"America must also close down its prisons at Guantanamo and across the world and only then will it be worthy of talks with Iran."
Expect US/Iranian relations to be no different now than pre-election. Tehran's nuclear program is red herring cover for regime change.
Iran knows it and will do whatever it takes to defend its national security and right to produce peaceful nuclear energy. It should do no less and won't.
Washington has no right to dictate Iranian policy. It does it all the time, of course, globally. Growing numbers of nations aren't pleased. Expect more ahead to express displeasure. Obama hasn't learned that lesson so far. He's unlikely to change.
Haaretz contributor Carlo Stenger knows less about America than he thinks. He headlined "Obama's victory and the American social contract: Lessons for Israel," saying:
Obama's victory suggests the "resilience of the US social contract, which commits all citizens to respect differences and to create a culture of tolerance."
Perhaps he meant Venezuela and said America by mistake. Obama's committed to destroying social America. He's been doing it for four years. He plans much more ahead.
Perhaps he'll end it entirely on his watch. Both parties are in lockstep on prioritizing militarism, corporate favoritism, and neoliberal harshness.
"What can Israel learn from the success of the American social contract," asked Stenger?
It learned plenty already. It replicated it since the 1980s. Israelis are plagued by the same dynamic harming America.
Their political leaders don't give a damn about ordinary people. They target, abuse and neglect those most vulnerable.
What best can be learned from America is go another way. Social, political, and economic reactionary policies define both countries.
Stenger is right saying "as long as one group is treated as second-class, all Israelis will continue to feel threatened in their honor and integrity."
Too bad Israeli leaders don't feel the same way. It goes double for US ones. Humanity waited much too long to exhale.
Doing so depends on ending the real existential threat humanity faces. Prioritizing it rises above all other issues.
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|Allen L. Jasson|