Israeli Pundits Pan Netanyahu's US Trip

Meanwhile, Obama loses top Jewish donor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2011 8:23 AM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds to the applause after he addressed a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill, May 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Benjamin Netanyahu got plenty of standing ovations in Washington, but back home the “nearly unanimous assessment” is that he’s badly damaged the peace process and fueled Palestine’s push for a UN resolution recognizing its statehood, the New York Times reports. “Those who are scared of peace yesterday got their wish,” one prominent columnist wrote. “Those who are scared of war will be a lot more scared today.” Another observed that “negotiations that had a slim chance of being renewed before now have no chance at all.”

Netanyahu's poll numbers, however, increased slightly following the visit. Here in the US, the dustup seems to have hurt President Obama; yesterday, a top Jewish donor told CNBC that he wouldn’t be donating to Obama’s campaign because of it, Commentary reports. “I’m very perplexed as to why the president, who’s been to Cairo, to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, has not made a stop in Israel and spoken to the Israeli people,” billionaire financier Haim Saban said. Commentary notes that more Jewish donors are likely to follow Saban out the door.

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