Israelis Wary of Obama Presidency

Though Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said she believes that President-elect Barack Obama will maintain America’s “close strategic cooperation” with Israel and continue the “unshakable special relationship,” many Israelis are reportedly uncertain of what the future holds under an Obama Administration.

The Daily Telegraph quotes one Israeli that attributes the worry to “him being the son of a Muslim,” and adding “whether he will like us and protect us I don’t know.” The fear was likely strengthened in the lead up to the campaign when McCain supporter “Joe the Plumber” agreed that he believes “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel.”

And voter reaction in Israel certainly lends credence to the prevalence of this concern, with surveys having Senator McCain beating Obama 3-1 in absentee ballots from US voters in Israel. On the eve of the election, Israel’s Haaretz even ran with a headline “So is Obama a danger to Israel after all?” Their conclusion was “no,” but that the question was even asked by the left-leaning paper again points to Israeli trepidation about the new President-elect.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.