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Israel's View on the U.S. Elections

Interviewee: Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, Shalem Center
Interviewer: Eben Kaplan, Associate Editor, CFR.org
July 23, 2008

Yossi Klein Halevi, the New Republic's Middle East correspondent and a Senior Fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center, discusses Israeli perceptions of the U.S. presidential race. He explains that most important campaign issue for Israelis is the U.S. stance toward Iran. For this reason, they tend to favor John McCain, who they see as more likely to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The question of Iran notwithstanding, Halevi says that Obama might actually be the better president for Israel. Obama could be in a position to reaffirm the special relationship between Israel and the United States at a time when that alliance is increasingly called into question. Halevi also believes that Obama is more likely to sympathize with Palestinians and press Israel over its West Bank settlements, but if in doing so Obama continues to stand by Israel, it could go a long way toward strengthening the country's international legitimacy.


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