Netanyahu in damage-control mode after Obama re-election


International reactions to President Obama’s re-election were quite positive – there was a “sigh of relief” for many abroad – but of particular interest was this awkward video of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made an appearance yesterday with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.

The Washington Post reported that the meeting was “a touch uncomfortable,” since Netanyahu was “not exactly rooting for the president’s reelection, and there’s real concern in Israel that this could cost Netanyahu political support or even damage the alliance so important to Israel’s security.”

It’s a story worth watching.

Over the past several years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has on several occasions confronted or even undercut President Obama, taking his message directly to the Israel-friendly United States Congress, challenging Mr. Obama’s appeal to the Arab world, and seeming this fall to support his opponent, Mitt Romney.

Mr. Netanyahu woke up Wednesday to find not only that his Republican friend had lost, but also that many Israelis were questioning whether he had risked their collective relationship with Washington.

“This has not been a very good morning for Netanyahu,” a deputy prime minister, Eli Yishai of the religious Shas Party, told journalists in Eilat.

The report added that the Israeli prime minister is now rushing “to repair the relationship,” while Ehud Olmert pokes the wound, asking publicly, “Given what Netanyahu had done these recent months, the question is: Does our prime minister still have a friend in the White House?”