While the mainstream American media posed the senseless question of whether Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a “gaffe” by praising Israeli culture on his overseas trip this week, the Hebrew-language Hadshot USA, “the Israeli newspaper in Los Angeles,” suggests that Israelis saw the bigger picture: “Netanyahu Puts All the Chips on Romney,” it declared.
Noting that Romney’s positions match those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the newspaper summarized their meeting in Jerusalem: “Netanyahu embraced Romney as no Israeli prime minister before had embraced an American presidential candidate running against a sitting president.”
By declaring, in Jerusalem, that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and by advocating a stronger approach to confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Romney earned Netanyahu’s tacit endorsement for the presidency, the newspaper noted.
There was a risk to Netanyahu’s close embrace of the American president’s opponent, the paper observed: “If Obama so chooses, it might be painful. But perhaps there is nothing to lose”–i.e. relations between the two administrations could not possibly be worse in any case.
Noting the Obama administration’s attempt to use Romney’s comments on Jerusalem against him, the paper’s coverage suggests that many Israelis–including Israeli-Americans voting in the upcoming election–have concluded that President Barack Obama is not a close ally after all.