It’s no secret that Obama doesn’t like Bibi Netanyahu, and the feeling seems to be mutual.
and then got a more rousing welcome in Congress than Obama ever has, because it was bipartisan.
Obama supporters accused Bibi of siding with Romney, although there’s nothing they can point to to prove it.
As “payback,” Obama tried to interfere in Israel’s election by chiding Israelis that they (i.e., Bibi) don’t know what’s in their best interests, and making sure such comments made their way to the press on the eve of the election.
I can’t say whether this spat hurt Netanyahu, since there is so much else that goes on in Israeli politics, but Netanyahu’s Likud party did drop in the last couple of weeks of the campaign, and barely survived according to the most recent reports.
From The Times of Israel:
How will Israel’s 33rd government look? Let the post-election mathematics begin.
For starters, it should be noted that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman’s Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list is clearly best positioned to head a stable government. It is therefore almost certain that President Shimon Peres will ask the incumbent prime minister to try to build a coalition first.
While a meager 31 seats for Likud-Yisrael Beytenu does not give Netanyahu the strength he was hoping for, he has little to fear from his new Knesset colleagues and rivals. Even if Yesh Atid (with 19 seats) teamed up with Labor (15 seats), Hatnua (6 seats), Meretz (6 seats) and Kadima (possibly 2 seats), the center-left bloc would still fall a dozen mandates short of even a slim majority. And it is very unlikely that such a bloc would be joined by either an Arab or an ultra-Orthodox party. For that matter, the center-left parties would most likely be unwilling to pay the political price the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties would demand.
So, however weakened, and however spectacular Yesh Atid’s rise, Netanyahu is in the driver’s seat.