Is he a diplomat or a political commentator?
lifted from MFA website, abysmal translation courtesy of google translate:
The U.S. presidential election in Israeli
By Vebjørn Dysvik
Israel has been given relatively much attention in the U.S. presidential election. But how important is the choice really for Israel?
31. So many times Israel was mentioned in the third debate between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. If this is too much, too little or just right depends on the eye of the beholder. But Israel has taken great place in the foreign policy part of the campaign, there is little doubt.
Republicans have in his campaign sought to use Israel against Obama. They have accused Obama of having “thrown Israel under the bus.” Romney went to Jerusalem and spoke in front of the old town, described the city as “the capital of Israel” (the current U.S. position is that Jerusalem is a final status issues to be resolved through negotiation), and criticized Obama for keeping diplomatic distance from Israel and force Israel’s adversaries.
Israeli and U.S. flags side by side. Israel has had a major impact in the U.S. presidential election campaign. Photo: Flickr / hoyasmeg
The Palestinians, for their part were more or less ignored. Romney mentioned them in passing during the debate. Obama mentioned them at all. And during his visit to Jerusalem, Romney was criticized for having maintained that Israel’s economic success compared with the Palestinians were determined by culture and God’s care (“the hand of providence”), while an occupation was not mentioned.
85. This is the percentage of Americans in Israel who should have voted for Romney so far, according to a poll conducted by the organization iVoteIsrael. Now the study has been criticized, perhaps rightly, to be very scientific, but other polls show that Romney is relatively more popular in Israel than he is in the U.S..
2,1. This is the percentage of the U.S. population that is Jewish. Our embassy in Washington has written a blog about the Jewish voters, and show how there is movement in their voting patterns can be decisive in tilting states like Ohio and Florida. Most American Jews have traditionally been overwhelmingly Democratic, but with the increased political importance also competing for their favor increased, and Israel is an important theme of the Jewish voters in the U.S..
Is the U.S. presidential election, a fateful choice for Israel? The assessment that many analysts here do have that option probably will not have a decisive impact on U.S. policy toward Israel. For despite all the rhetoric about distance and conflict, the US-Israeli cooperation so many here see it still with the same depth and intensity also under President Obama. And if the third presidential debate was foreign policy theme is any guide, the U.S. foreign policy in broad terms remain unchanged even if the president will shift in January.
For Netanyahu personally, there are many in Israel who believe that it will be important who wins. Many Israelis understand that Netanyahu has confronted Obama, including the meeting between the two in May 2011 when Netanyahu gave Obama a history lesson openly. This is a source of pride for some, but there are also those who are worried about what it means for Israel in the long term.
Should Obama be re-elected, according to commentators here that it can have a negative impact on Netanyahu’s support when the Israelis even go to the polls 22 January 2013. Similarly, it is believed that there is an upside for Netanyahu if Romney wins, too, because the two have a good personal relationship that goes way back. Relations with the U.S. are important both for Israel and for many Israelis.
It is not easy to predict, nor in politics, but it is safe and reasonable to assume that there is one and another in Jerusalem that will follow the election night Tuesday with a little extra excitement. And it looks as if the U.S. presidential election might be more exciting for Prime Minister Netanyahu than it is for Israel.