With the upcoming United States presidential elections creeping ever so close, it is not only American’s who are anxiously awaiting the outcome. People around the world are watching to see who will win and ultimately decide many foreign policies that will affect people from many different countries. In Israel citizens are not only watching the American elections, but now they have internal elections to keep their eyes on. Due to the close ties and intertwined affairs between America and Israel, is it a mere coincidence that the two countries’ elections are happening almost simultaneously?
Israel’s Prime Minister recently called for an early election due to the parliament dissolving on important economic issues. It is true that Israel’s economy is about the worst it has been in 80 years, but some are questioning whether this is the real motive behind the early elections. Many are blaming the ever so important issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and noting the fact that under the current Prime Minister, Palestinian issues are being thrown to the side. Either way, Iran and Palestine are two important issues in the United States foreign policy whose outcome will definitely have a big impact on Israel.
Recently, Israel has been one of the most talked about national issues during the United States presidential debates and throughout the election season. With the United States elections only weeks away, debates have featured touchy topics in which the two candidates share drastically different views. Unlike the predictable Israeli election, in which Netanyahu is almost guaranteed to win, the United States elections are up in the air. As for the United States, President Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney have very different viewpoints and depending on who gets elected, the outcomes will potentially be very different.
President Obama does not have the best relations with Israeli’s Prime Minister, however, he has advanced the US’s relationship with Israel and made it stronger than ever before. He strongly supports Israel’s security and well being. Over his first term he has given financial aid, military assistance, and intelligence sharing to Israel. As for the Iran Nuclear crisis, he does not believe they have any nuclear devices and does not want to attack Iran in fear of throwing America into another war. His strong belief in diplomacy has not put him in much agreement with Israel’s Prime Minister, whose main objective is to stop Iran’s nuclear ‘threat’. As for Palestine, President Obama believes in the two state solution, following the lines of 1967. He is a proponent of peace talks and wants all matters handled as democratically as possible.
President Obama’s reelection would mean many things for Israelis. First, Israel would not have support from the US for initiating an attack on Iran and possibly even starting a war. The US has and would most likely remain in support of Israel’s well-being, but the current Prime Minister and President share drastically different views of how to handle the Iran nuclear threat. This would probably mean that not much action would be taken about this issue. As for the Palestine issue, Obama’s reelection would probably lead to him convincing the Prime Minister to put more emphasis on bringing the issue to light and coming to a conclusion, in hopes of ending the long standing drama. This may not be of the Prime Minister’s top concern right now, but many Israeli citizens are agreeing that the issue needs to be solved.
On the other hand, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has extremely close ties with the Israeli Prime Minister that goes back decades. His stance on Iran’s nuclear threat is drastically different than President Obamas. He believes that Iran is capable of making nuclear devices and that the threat needs to be eliminated. He is more in line with how the Prime Minister views these issues. In his eyes, launching a unilateral strike with military involvement would be ideal. Going back to the Palestine issue, Romney sees Palestine as not having any interest in peace and doesn’t think it is an important point to stress on. He has been quoted saying that the problem is just going to remain unsolved and all we can do is hope for stability. This is very different from how Obama sees this issue.
Mitt Romney’s election would mean a different path than if Obama were to get reelected. Most likely, a strike would be initiated on Iranian nuclear facilities, in line with the Prime Minister’s plans. This could mean more violence within Israel and may even involve US troops if a war does break out. In terms of Palestine, the problem would probably not get much support from the US. Without the United States backing Israel, the problem may persist, and will likely remain unsolved. Romney is against pressuring Israel to give Palestine land, which is very similar to the views of the Israeli Prime Minister. The two leaders similar takes on these important issues would probably lead to continued good relations between the United States and Israel.
The next few weeks will be very closely watched around the world. Despite the outcome of the United States elections, it is almost guaranteed the the United States and Israel will continue to have close relations and be intertwined in each other’s affairs. The Israeli elections following the US’s are a bit more predictable, but will surely decide the future of Israel.