Ben Caspit, diplomatic correspondent for the Israeli daily Maariv, reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to call early elections in Israel was the result of the assessment by leaders of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, that President Barack Obama would be reelected in 2012.
Netanyahu’s coalition surprised the political system last week when it was made public that the the next elections would take place only four months from now, on September 4 (elections periods in Israel are usually much longer). By early November, when the U.S. elections take place, the new Israeli government will already be sworn in.
Caspit writes (my translation):
Netanyahu’s surprising announcement on the early primaries in the Likud, which fell on his party’s senior member like thunder on a cloudless day, came three days after a discrete meeting he held with the chiefs of AIPAC, that estimated, based on polls, that Barack Obama would also be the next president.
Bibi knew he can’t campaign when Obama is in his second term. This [would be] a dangerous gamble.
The Israeli elections, it should be noted, will take place during the Democratic National Convention. Instead of the U.S. president possibly playing a role – deliberately or not – in the Israeli elections, Netanyahu will get a chance to play a part in the American one.