Bibi Still Meddling
10/16/2012 - 19:34
Douglas Bloomfield

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"?

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Attention readers - Douglas Bloomfield does not hold Benjamin Netanyahu in high regard - carry on.
Having gotten that off my chest and out of the way, I'm not sure it is fair for Bloomfield to accuse Netanyahu of 'meddling' because a US domiciled organization, Secure America Now, has used film of Bibi in their political advertisement. Netanyahu doesn't really exercise control over this organization and I'm not sure that he should try to intervene in what is essentially a US political campaign. If Obama's campaign were using film of Bibi, should Netanyahu call up Obama and tell him to cease and desist?