Bibi Still Meddling

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can't keep denying he is meddling in the American presidential race when he has consistently failed to tell his friends to stop using him in their anti-Obama ads.

For several weeks Republicans have been running ads in Florida featuring the PM that are thinly veiled attacks on Obama.  If he disapproved, all Netanyahu needed to do was pick up the phone or, to be more effective, put out an unequivocal public statement telling his friends to stop using him for their partisan attacks.  Politico reports his aides have not responded to its request asking how Netanyahu feels about having his image used in this way.

Maybe he's betting Mitt Romney will win and will show his gratitude over the next four years by outsourcing U.S. Middle East policy to the PM.  But if Netanyahu's gamble doesn't pay off he's going to have to deal with a White House that already does not hold him in high regard and where his clumsy meddling in U.S. politics has done much damage to his influence in Washington, and that is bad for Israel.

The ads are the work of a group calling itself Secure America Now, which is run by veteran Republican strategist Nelson Warfield and is spending about $300,000 on broadcast and cable spots in targeted Florida markets, according to Politico. The ads feature a Netanyahu speech that was widely considered to be an attack on the Obama administration's refusal to bow to his demand to set red lines for the Iranian nuclear program.

I guess what this all means is that when Netanyahu runs for reelection in January, he will have no objection to Americans telling Israelis how they should vote.   How about an ad featuring an American president (I can think of at least two) saying, "I don't trust this man and neither should you"?

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.