US president Barack Obama inadvertently helped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election by interfering in the March 17 race, Democratic and Republican strategists who advised Israeli parties said in recent days.
The Obama administration has been increasingly critical of Netanyahu since he won the election. The statements by the strategists indicated that the president only has himself to blame.
“It’s quite possible, even reasonable, that the White House had no strategy for the Israeli elections, but if its goal was to hurt — or least not help — Netanyahu, then it erred,” said Mark Mellman, a strategist for Democratic Senate minority leader Harry Reid who worked for Yesh Atid during the campaign. “Raising the stakes on his congressional address through a series of cold shoulders only enhanced Netanyahu’s standing with his constituency.”
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