Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have won a handsome election victory following a grueling campaign, complete with foreign government money, including indirectly from the U.S. State Department, going to his opponents.
In order to win, Netanyahu is held now to have reneged on his 2009 in-principle, hedged commitment to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) encompassing a Palestinian state. This is actually untrue.
Largely unreported is Netanyahu’s explanation, in which he stated clearly that, under prevailing conditions, establishing a Palestinian state is a folly. This was not a blanket retraction; it was a statement of current geostrategic realities.
Those realities including the following: Mahmoud Abbas’ PA is not only aligned with the barbarous Hamas movement, but also continues to incite hatred and murder of Israelis. Only last week, the PA dedicated a monument in Ramallah to honor Dalal Mughrabi, the leader of the Fatah terrorists who perpetrated the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, in which 37 Israeli civilians were slain.
President Obama’s indifference to Israeli security concerns also clarified matters for the Israeli electorate. In last year’s Gaza war, Israelis saw a U.S. president who attempted to foist upon Israel Hamas-compliant Qatari cease-fire terms, before Israel destroyed the Hamas terror tunnels and their rockets; who delayed resupply to Israel of Hellfire missiles; and who even imposed a temporary, unnecessary ban on flights to Israel.
Not for nothing did an October Smith Research poll find that 53% of Israelis regarded President Obama as more pro-Palestinian, while only 16% regarded him as more pro-Israel. Indeed, repeated polls have shown that Israeli voters don’t trust President Obama.
Israelis also saw a U.S. president who ignores their concern over allowing Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. Accordingly, they went with the leader who spoke, not of offering concessions to the PA, but of standing firm on Israeli security. The author of Netanyahu’s victory in large part, ironically, is Barack Obama.
Daniel Mandel, director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Middle East Policy, is author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel.
This article originally appeared on the USA TODAY website here.