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Election 2012: Israel

Netanyahu seen as loser; media speculates over pol's future

The U.S. presidential election naturally received heavy coverage around the globe, with broadcasters in most nations devoting plenty of airtime to live coverage, even if time zones worked against them. The global news media across all outlets weighed in with hope, concern and sometimes, biting satire.

As Israelis awoke on the morning on Nov. 7, Romney was conceding the 2012 presidential election, and “Eretz Nehaderet,” the searing Israeli sketch comedy show, had released a meme showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu answering a phone call and then hanging up when Obama, on the other line, says, “It’s me again.”

The cool relationship between Netanyahu and Obama is common knowledge here, and with four more years of the current president, Israelis know that a unilateral strike on Iran has become less likely, while moves toward a Palestinian state are likely to ramp up yet again.

Such pressing issues meant that Israelis felt a serious stake in the election. Coverage was as frenetic as in the U.S., with the story taking the lead slot on every network news show and major newspaper on Nov. 6. Television stations sent an unprecedented number of correspondents across the Atlantic to report. At midnight local time on Nov. 6, as the U.S. polls were closing, several news websites shifted to live election coverage, which continued throughout the night.

On the op-ed pages of several major newspapers Wednesday morning, commentators also noted that the defeat of Romney, Netanyahu’s longtime personal chum, has provided disgraced former prime minster Ehud Olmert with his best chance yet to reclaim the seat of power here.

Election 2012: The world view
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