Haaretz Analysts and Columnists Weigh in on Obama's Victory

Haaretz brings you opinion and analysis on Barack Obama's reelection as U.S. president.

Barack Obama was reelected as president of the United States of America on Tuesday, beating Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's second attempt to lead Republicans to victory at the polls. In his acceptance speech in Chicago early on Wednesday morning, the new-old president told the American people, "Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you've made me a better president. I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever."

Aluf Benn draws a comparison between Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign strategy for the upcoming Israeli election and Barack Obama's effective campaign strategy, which took advantage of the president's extra campaigning time and efficiently focused all efforts toward swing states. Although Israel does not have swing states, Benn assesses that Netanyahu must win over "swing" political parties in the Knesset, most notably Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu, in order to be re-elected prime minister.

Barak Ravid describes the implications of Obama's re-election on the upcoming Israeli election. In his description, Ravid considers the perspectives of Benjamin Netanayhu, Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Shelly Yacimovich and Yair Lapid’s, as well as Israel-U.S. relations.

Bradley Burston argues that although Barack Obama's grueling months of campaigning ended Tuesday night, if early indications hold, over the next 11 weeks, the president may still have one more campaign opponent to face – Benjamin Netanyahu.

Amos Harel predicts that Iran will take center stage again on new-old President Obama’s agenda. Even if Barack Obama’s attitude toward Israel seems at times estranged, missing the overt sentiments that characterized the approach of previous presidents (themselves decidedly different from one another), including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama has a sober take on what’s happening in the Middle East and on U.S. strategic interests in the region, Harel writes. The lack of chemistry between Netanyahu and Obama is by now an incontrovertible fact. But the assumption that personal rancor will dictate America’s Middle East policy has to be proven in the field.

Before the results came in, Chemi Shalev argued that, whoever the winner, unless America's next president succeeds in effecting change, budget disagreements will continue, the political paralysis will deepen, and America's credit rating will once again be in danger and not only in the economic sphere.

Carlo Strenger gives a heartfelt Mazal Tov to the American people for their choice. This election, he argues, pitched two competing visions of American society, and the better vision won. Obama's victory was one for American pluralism. This raises interesing questions for Israel because of one crucial similarity: Both countries are immigrant societies that have tragic conflicts with some of its minorities. What can Israel learn from the success of the American social contract, which commits all citizens to respect differences and to create a culture of tolerance?

Oudeh Basharat claims that the Arab world views both Obama and Romney as bullies but that Romney is preferable, as a bully who sternly stares the Arabs in face, versus Obama, who smiles diplomatically. Basharat also argues that the outcome of the U.S. elections will not be as influential in the Middle East as will the election of the new Israeli prime minister.

Yitzhak Laor discusses how the decision of American voters will determine the fate of hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Laor asserts that since Americans are generally unaware of the cost of war, they do not fully comprehend the extent to which their decision in electing the next U.S. president will impact the lives of Israelis.

Brett Kline examines the discrepancy in the voting trends between Americans in Israel, who tend to vote republican, and Americans in Europe, who usually vote democrat. He cites domestic policy, particularly health care and abortion rights, as the reason many American ex-patriots in Europe lean to the left. Kline continues to explain that Americans in Israel relate to the Republican Party since they have a shared tendency to view foreign policy in terms of "good and bad," whereas Americans in Europe possess a vantage point similar to that of Europe, which does not discuss foreign policy such "black and white" terms.