US President Barack Obama’s political setback in the recent midterm congressional elections, which saw Republicans seize a commanding majority in the House of Representatives, will likely increase his need to drive through an ill-advised Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Speaking to Arutz 7 radio, Professor Eitan Gilboa of Bar Ilan University said he believes “Obama has an obsession with Israel.”
Some reports suggesting that the Republican landslide would refocus Obama on domestic affairs and take pressure off Israel are simply not true, insisted Gilboa.
“He will want to get the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority going again because he wants to be remembered in history as the one who is signed on the peace agreement,” the professor said.
Other Israeli commentators have suggested that the results of midterm election are likely to actually increase Obama’s pressure on Israel, since his domestic policies now have no chance of succeeding. The president needs a quick achievement, and believes ramming through an Israeli-Palestinian deal is his best shot.
Of course, this condition is not unique to Obama. The past three US presidents also spent a disproportionate amount of time and political capital trying to be the one to broker Middle East peace. But with Obama, most Israelis fear the situation has changed, considering his overriding desire to cozy up to the Islamic world.