Let me tell you three things about President Obama that auger very poorly for Israel.
1. Obama is, at heart, an internationalist. It pains him to make the United States the stumbling block in front of international opinion. Now he feels he is free to join with the consensus of the other internationalists at organizations such as the UN and pressure a rogue nation into “proper” standards of behavior.
2. Israel recalls for Obama issues that are central for him – racism and oppression of minorities by a dominant culture. Obama’s default stance is with what he perceives as the aggrieved minority, not the majority, no matter the threats the majority faces. It reminds him not only of the struggle for racial justice in the United States, but one of the defining issues of his political coming-of-age during the 1980s, the fight against the Apartheid system in South Africa.
3. Obama is not lazy, but he’s not the hardest working president we’ve seen either. But he is extraordinarily competitive. When faced with competition, as during one of his political campaigns, he shelves the golf, focuses like a laser, and does everything he has to not to lose.
With his own reelection, Netanyahu has soundly humiliated and beaten Obama. He did so while upstaging and defying him in his own backyard with a grand speech to Congress. The well of the House is a stage Obama feels he owns, not some foreign interloper.
Make no mistake, Obama will strike back hard. He is furious about Netanyahu’s unexpected victory. He will not allow the Israeli leader to have the final word. He will win at all costs. And that will have grave consequences for Israel.