The prospect of another four years of Obama in the White House fills some Middle East nations, including the Persian Gulf and Israel, with trepidation.
They envisage a foreign policy that continues to focus on hitching US influence in the Muslim world – Sunni and Shiite alike – on to a wagon led by Iran as the first Islamic Shite Muslim nuclear power and the sponsorship of Muslim Brotherhood rule of Sunni Arab nations.
For Israel, this policy translates bleakly into American backing for the two most forbidding ideological foes it has faced in all its 63 years: Iran, whose leaders call openly for Israel’s extinction - even from the UN platform – although this is achievable only by nuclear aggression; and the hostile Muslim Brotherhood.
The undisguised discord between Barack Obama and Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu is usually presented as sparked by their falling-out over military action for preempting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This is both simplistic and misleading. Their differences are far broader in scope: Netanyahu and most other Israeli leaders contest Obama's signature Middle East objective of bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya - and ultimately Syria - by presenting the MB as a moderate movement with whom America can do business and conduct a balanced Middle East policy.
This goal actuated the Arab Revolt – or Spring - which erupted in December 2010. It has condemned Israel to an ever-tightening Islamist noose around its borders with worse to come: The last gap will be filled after the Brothers attain power in Damascus and ultimately set their sights on Jordan as the springboard to Saudi Arabia.
Israel is laboring under a dual compulsion; It is being forced to contemplate active measures for extinguishing Iran’s nuclear program while at the same time standing ready to challenge Egypt over Sinai which has swung out of Cairo’s control and deteriorated into a lawless terrorist springboard against both countries.
Israeli Official: 'We Will Not Capitulate Before Obama' - Warns President's Reelection Means Jewish State Must 'Take Care Of Its Own'
The state of Israel will not capitulate before President Obama, whose “naive” leadership has hurt the U.S., stated Danny Danon, deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset.Danon, a Knesset member from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, was reacting to the reelection of Obama.
Danon told KleinOnline: “Obama’s victory demonstrates that the state of Israel must take care of its own interests. We cannot rely on anyone but ourselves. Obama has hurt the United States by his naïve leadership in foreign policy, which prefers the Arab world over the Western world, along with Israel. The state of Israel will not capitulate before Obama. ”
Earlier this week, KleinOnline quoted a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator claiming that if Obama secures another four years in office, he will use his second term to target Netanyahu as the main party to blame for the collapse of Mideast peace talks.
The negotiator further claimed that Obama quietly pledged to the Palestinians a campaign at the United Nations to renew U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for a Palestinian state to be established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem.The PA negotiator said the White House had asked the Palestinians to slow their drive for the unilateral declaration of a state at the U.N. General Assembly.
The negotiator further said Obama had promised the PA that the establishment of a Palestinian state will be one of the main priorities for a second term.
“We were told that the negotiations for a Palestinian state will be a main goal for Obama,” said the negotiator. “Netanyahu will be declared the main person responsible for the collapse of the peace process.”
And last, a brief glimpse of the future:
Athens erupted in riots late Wednesday as parliament met to vote on the latest austerity measures needed to win more international aid.
Smoke and tear gas filled the streets just as parliament struggled to forge a consensus on the new austerity plans. Meanwhile, workers were winding down a two-day strike to protest the budget-cutting moves designed to reduce Greece's crushing public debt burden.
Louisa Gouliamaki | AFP | Getty ImagesPetrol bombs fall on riot police in Athens during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures.
Greece’s cash-strapped government needs 151 of 300 members of parliament (MPs) to vote in favor of the bill on austerity measures for 2013-16 – measures that were agreed to with international lenders following a torturous 40 day negotiating marathon.
Should the vote fail, Greece will not receive its next financial aid installment—31.5 billion euros ($40.2 billion)—on Monday. That could plunge the Hellenic republic deeper into a financial abyss, and may hasten the long-feared scenario of a euro zone exit, which some analysts call a 'Grexit'.
Athens' struggles come at an awkward time for the euro zone as a whole. Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission said the 17-nation currency bloc will see scant growth next year, as a slowdown spreads to each of the euro club's biggest economies. That may erode public support — which is already waning — for giving Greece more money.