The Republican Party's loss of control over the US House of Representatives was good news for United Arab List MK Ahmed Tibi, who praised Americans on Wednesday for voting against the party of US President George W. Bush. Tibi was one of several MKs who reacted to the American election that could have a significant impact on the future of US policy in the Middle East.
US: Democrats take control of House
"Bush's policies are anti-Arab, anti-Islamic and anti-Palestinian and encourage terror around the world and the way the neo-conservatives related to the Arab world was outrageous and humiliating, so I am happy to see [the Republicans] lose the election," Tibi told The Jerusalem Post.
By contrast, National Union leader Benny Elon said that had he been American, he would have voted Republican. But he said that both Republicans and Democrats are pro-Israel and that he did not expect the changeover in the House to prevent Bush from taking steps necessary to preserve Israel's security.
"Now that the election is over, the president will be free of political pressure and able to do what he wants," Elon said. "That means he will be able to what needs to be done against Iran and perhaps even Syria. He won't let Iran become nuclearized, and that's what Israel needs."
Elon said he was not concerned that a Democratic House would encourage an expedited American withdrawal from Iraq that could threaten Israel. He said he believed the Democrats would behave responsibly and would allow the war to end in a proper manner.
"Thank God that on September 11, 2001, the leader of the free world was Bush and not [his predecessor Bill] Clinton," Elon said. "But I don't think the American voters' disapproval over the war in Iraq proves that America has become more liberal. I don't see a rise of extreme liberalism or a fall in the family values that the Republicans advocate, and I don't see Israel being an issue of contention."
Likud MK Yuval Steinitz came to Phoenix two weeks ago to campaign for his close, personal friend, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona. He said he was overjoyed at the reelections of Kyl, a Republican, Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos of California and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
"I don't see the Democratic Party as problematic for Israel," Steinitz said. "Democrats understand the need to act against Iran and international terror."