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Thursday, November 08, 2012

If Netanyahu Is Not Re-elected, Obama May Find Labor's Shelly Yacimovich Just As Right Wing

With all of the speculation that Obama -- who never got along with Netanyahu -- will seek revenge against Israel's leader, one line of thought is that Obama may try (again) to undermine Bibi in hopes of his main rival, Labor's Shelly Yacimovich, becoming prime minister.

Good luck with that.

Evelyn Gordon notes that Bibi and Main Rival Agree on Peace Process.
Gordon notes an article in Haaretz indicating Diplomatic cables show Labor chief has adopted Netanyahu's rhetoric on peace process, indicating that Yacimovich said in a meeting with French officials in July:
  • She thinks the Palestinians should negotiate without preconditions – just like Netanyahu.
  • She thinks they must recognize Israel as a Jewish state – again like Netanyahu.
  • She thinks Israel should retain the major settlement blocs, and shouldn’t withdraw to the 1967 lines – yet again like Netanyahu.
Haaretz also reported last year in August, Leading Labor Party candidate: I don't see Israeli settlements as a crime that although Yacimovich wants most settlements disbanded in any deal with the Palestinian Arabs
  • She doesn’t consider them “a sin and a crime,” -- just like Netanyahu
  • She doesn’t think the “peace process” should top Israel’s agenda --  like Netanyahu, 
And just last week, Yacimovich indicated that Labor and Likud have similar goals, describing it this way:
...I'm fighting for - ending the dichotomy between left and right in foreign affairs. There are no longer two blocs...it's all a fixation.
If Obama wants to paint Netanyahu as a far right wing hawk, let him go ahead -- he may not find it much easier to pressure Shelly Yachimovich as prime minister of Israel.

Of course, all of this may very well just be rhetoric that Yacimovich would discard if she were to become the next prime minister -- but at the very least, statements such as these indicate that Netanayhu is not the extreme right wing hawk that the media enjoys making him out to be.

That rhetoric may also blunt the pressure that Obama applied unsuccessfully during his first term.

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