ANALYSIS / It's Safe to Assume That Obama Won't Abandon Israel

Obama won't want to disappoint the small but active Jewish community that backed his campaign.

As the world's largest democracy on Tuesday chose - for the first time in its history - a black president, Israel's own democracy marked 13 years since the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a fanatic fellow citizen.

We can only envy the millions of American citizens cheering on their new president and the nation that elected him.

Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, once hoped for a military chief of staff of Middle Eastern descent in Israel - which we have had. We have even had a Sephardi defense minister and a president.

Hopefully, not long from now we will have a Russian or Ethiopian prime minister, too, but for now we'll have to make do with three candidates of the same Ashkenazi background and take comfort in the achievement that one of them is a woman.

When the triumphant celebrations over Obama's victory die down, we will witness the voices of extremists who refuse to accept the fate of electors' choice.

America too, has been 'blessed' with racist-messianic organizations whose members are willing to give up their lives for purposes which they view as "sacred" ? such as revoking women's rights, or fighting for the right to buy a rifle at the local grocery store.

America too, has witnessed assassination attempts and murders of (several of) its presidents. The U.S secret services - like Shin Bet - are responsible for the president's welfare, but they are not immune to the acts of a suicide bomber.

Barak Obama's welfare should be particularly important to Israel and not just because of the special relations between the two countries.

If we go by the unwritten rule that says that a president's choice of advisers define his policies, it's safe to assume that Obama will not abandon Israel.

I've had the pleasure of meeting two of his senior advisors: former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer and his strategic advisor Dan Shapiro. Both of these men are Jewish supporters of Israel and promoters of peace, and they believe that the future of Israel depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

With a second term already in focus, the new Democrat president does not want to disappoint the small but active Jewish-American community that has given him such comprehensive support throughout his entire campaign.

Outgoing President George Bush, however, has already laid the path for Obama to follow: Bush's vision of two separate states, the road map to peace, a commitment to freeze all settlements in the occupied territories - all these issues are waiting for Obama in the Oval Office.

Obama will have to decide if and when he wishes to put his predecessor's resolutions into action.

The results of Israel's upcoming elections will of course have an impact on his decision. Should the Israeli right-wing win, Obama will have to convince the government to espouse his liberal views of compromise through discussion and debate. It's hard to predict what Obama's reaction would be if Likud candidate Binyamin Netanyahu reaches out to the Palestinians with an overall peace offering or a peace-for-peace offer to Syria - assuming he is elected.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S Danny Ayalon's recent interview with Channel Two has marked the beginning of the Israeli right wing's adjustment to the dramatic change in America.

Ayalon assured viewers that there was no reason to fear Obama, and said the Democratic candidate is good for Israel, as he will have an easier time forming a coalition against Iran.

This is the same Danny Ayalon who stated in an article in Jerusalem Post last January that having met Obama he feels that the senator is "not completely straight" regarding Israeli issues, and that his candidacy should be regarded with concern.