Obama administration officials have begun emphasizing that the US will be reevaluating its approach based on Netanyahu’s campaign comments. They have even laid down a definitive framework going forward. 1. pushing a new peace plan without Israel. 2. taking away the U.S. guarantee of support at various international organizations i.e. the U.N. These threats show the pettiness of the American administration and a fundamental misreading of both the Israeli political landscape and the personalities that inhabit it not to mention the unfairness in judging a politician by campaign rhetoric.

There would be no peace and no Palestinian state if Isaac Herzog were prime minister. As the past has shown there were no peace with Prime Ministers Ehud Barak or Ehud Olmert both non-Likud prime ministers who offered the Palestinians their own state in. These men were rejected. And these offers were within the past 15 years. Rejection. So it is not an ideological issue then. Perhaps the tantrum should be focused on the Palestinians.

This generation of Palestinian leadership, from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas, has never and by all indicators, won’t sign its name to a final peace settlement dividing the land with a Jewish state. As a result no Israeli government, regardless of ideological stripe, will agree to a Palestinian state.

Second, if world leaders were to judge their working relationships with other world leaders based upon the others campaign rhetoric then President Obama has difficulty too. In 2008 he campaigned and his comments made on the campaign trail indicated he would close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Six years later it remains open. After championing an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. troops are still in the latter.

The point here is that campaign rhetoric should be considered for context rather than content. Also, while it is true that the Obama administration openly hoped for a different Israeli election result in the next 22 months they have an opportunity to continue solid relations with America’s only reliable democracy in the Middle East.

About the Author
Dr. Aaron Walter teaches International Relations. He writes on American foreign policy towards Israel. In addition to topics directly related to U.S.-Israeli politics, he has written on the presidency and security studies as linked to U.S., Europe, and Israeli studies