Politicians from Shas to Meretz congratulate Obama

Yacimovich: We expect to continue special alliance between US and Israel; National Union warns of future pressures on Netanyahu.

Obama smiles after winning re-election 370 (R) (photo credit: Jim Bourg / Reuters)
Obama smiles after winning re-election 370 (R)
(photo credit: Jim Bourg / Reuters)
Politicians on the left and right congratulated US President Barack Obama on his reelection Wednesday, touting US and Israel’s strong relationship.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was the first Israeli politician to comment on Obama’s victory, tweeting: “Congratulations to President Obama and the American people on his reelection. President Obama will be an excellent President for Israel.”
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich sent a letter to Obama, saying his victory reflects the achievements of his first term.
“I have a great appreciation for your work toward a change in American society, your agenda and the values you promote, which are part of my ideology – equality, a fair economy and the government’s responsibility for its citizens,” Yacimovich wrote.
“We in Israel expect to continue the special relationship between Israel and America, a true alliance and friendship.”
“Shas congratulates US President Barack Obama on his victory. The election focused on economic policy toward American citizens, and Obama’s win teaches us that the weaker sectors demand leadership that will not abandon them,” Housing Minister Ariel Attias said.
Attias made a reference to the Jewish custom of blessing kings, and commended Obama and the US for supporting Israel ahead of the joint challenges both countries face.
Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said the challenges facing Israel and America necessitate continued cooperation, and he is convinced Obama and the American people will continue to stand with Israel, as friends and partners with shared values and goals.
Yesh Atid congratulated Obama on his winning a second term, calling on him to keep his explicit promise to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to act immediately to renew negotiations with the Palestinians.
The party also called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take immediate steps to fix the poor relations between him and the Obama administration, and slammed Netanyahu for inappropriately intervening on the side of the Republicans in the American election.
Meretz threw a mesi-bama – a combination of mesiba (“party”) and Obama – on Tuesday night, and, following his victory speech, released a video with snippets of the president’s speeches and people cheering, “yes we can.” The clip ended with the message: “The Left won in America, and we will soon in Israel.”
MK Dov Henin (Hadash) tweeted “we now have two months to get rid of [Republican candidate] Mitt Romney’s political twin,” in reference to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the upcoming election.
On the right, the National Union said Obama’s victory will boost the Israeli left.
“The upcoming Israeli election will be about building a national coalition that will help Netanyahu withstand the pressures put upon him,” the party said.
“[That coalition should be] a Jewish coalition that is strengthened by the knitted- kippa [national religious] merger of the National Union and Habayit Hayehudi, as opposed to a weak, left-wing coalition with [Yesh Atid leader Yair] Lapid and [Shas’ Arye] Deri.” MK Danny Danon (Likud) released two statements – an aggressive one in Hebrew, and a more politically-correct one in English.
“We will not bow to Obama’s will,” Danon said in Hebrew. “His election shows Israel must take care of its interests on its own, and we do not have who to trust other than ourselves.
Obama hurt America with his naïve, substandard foreign policy, which prefers the Arab world instead of Israel and the West.”
In English, however, Danon congratulated Obama on his reelection and called for him to visit Israel.
“Now is the time for President Obama to return to the wise and time-honored policy of ‘zero daylight’ between our respective nations,” he said. “This is especially true as it pertains to the existential threat posed to Israel and the West by the prospect of a nuclear Iran.”