It’s not that Netanyahu is just a strong leader, he has indeed learned from his past mistakes, it’s that he’s attentive to the average Israeli’s concerns over their security, present and future. That he’s a great statesman is icing on the cake. KGS
Politics: Clashing with Uncle Sam
By GIL HOFFMAN
Belying conventional wisdom that Israeli public will side with US president against PM who jeopardizes US-Israel ties, Netanyahu jumped in polls.
Shortly after Barack Obama was sworn in as president of the United States in January 2009, Kadima, which was in the middle of a campaign, tried to harm the Likud’s candidate, Binyamin Netanyahu, by saying he wouldn’t be able to get along with Obama.
Former Likud MK Natan Sharansky responded that Netanyahu and Obama would indeed get along, so long as neither one surprised the other. That statement proved prophetic: Obama surprised Netanyahu in their first White House meeting by insisting on a settlement freeze, and again two weeks ago by announcing a plan to advance Middle East peace the night before Netanyahu arrived in Washington.
The Likud strategists’ response to Kadima’s attack on Netanyahu was equally interesting. They asked on what page the story would appear, and when informed it was set for page three, asked why not the front page.
Likud strategists later revealed that their polling data had indicated that Kadima’s warning that Netanyahu would not get along with Obama had actually boosted Netanyahu’s campaign. They found that Israelis were concerned about Obama and were looking for a prime minister who would know how to say no to him.