Does America really want another war? Benjamin Netanyahu gambles on Mitt Romney, why?
The political TV advertisement featuring Benjamin Netanyahu and the slogan “The world needs American strength, not apologies” is likely to fuel claims that the Israeli prime minister is interfering in the US presidential election in support of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
It comes increasing during anxiety that Netanyahu has overplayed his hand in displays of warmth and enthusiasm for Romney while his relationship with Barack Obama grows more antagonistic. Some say Netanyahu is gambling too heavily on a Romney victory on November 6 and that if Obama is re-elected, the potential blowback could be damaging not just for the prime minister but for Israel itself.
Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman, said the advertisement had “not been co-ordinated with us, we were not consulted and no one asked us for our permission”. In an interview last week with the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli prime minister rejected accusations of interference in the election, saying they were “completely groundless”.
But, according to Yossi Verter writing in Haaretz recently, US officials had relayed to a “very senior Israeli figure” that “in the eyes of the Democratic administration, Netanyahu is perceived as campaigning on behalf of Mitt Romney.” To the president and his aides, the Israeli prime minister’s actions look like “crude, vulgar and unrestrained intervention in the US election campaign”.
Joe Klein of Time magazine described Netanyahu’s recent behaviour as “an unprecedented attempt by a putative American ally to influence a US presidential campaign”.
The editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, said Netanyahu seemed “determined, more than ever, to alienate the president of the United States and, as an ally of Mitt Romney’s campaign, to make himself a factor in the 2012 election”.
Netanyahu’s categoric denial of interference followed a leak by Israeli officials that Obama had declined to meet the Israeli prime minister during his visit to the US later this month. US officials denied there had been a deliberate rebuff. Some observers believed the story was planted by Netanyahu aides in order to show the president in a poor light for snubbing the leader of one of America’s closest allies.
Read the whole story: theguardian