Following the Republican landslide victory in the U.S. mid-term elections, many wonder to what extent the results will affect the State of Israel, if at all.

The two world leaders shake hands at the White House Oct. 1, 2014. (Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Prime Minister Netanyahu (L) and U.S. President Obama shake hands at the White House Oct. 1, 2014. (Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO)

For the first time since 2007, the Republicans gained control of the U.S. Congress, winning a Senate majority and tightening their hold in the House of Representatives.

They gained seven seats in the Senate, giving them thus far a 52-seat majority. Not one Republican seat was taken by the Democrats.

Aside from internal issues that have been plaguing Americans, such as the environment, immigration and the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare), the U.S. response to serious external threats such as the Islamic State (ISIS, or IS) terrorists and the Iranian nuclear program seem to have significantly influenced the vote.

Following the election, close to two-thirds of voters cited dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration’s handling of major issues, several media reports indicate.

According to an article on the Israeli Ynet news site, “opinion polls show Obama’s popularity falling and, though he wasn’t on the ballot, Republicans made him the focus of their campaigns.”

What is the impact, if any, on Israel?

Headlines in the Israeli press on Wednesday included, for example: “U.S. Midterm Elections Spell Twilight for Obama Presidency” (The Jerusalem Post).

While Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared on Tuesday – the same day as the vote took place – that the “deep ties between the U.S. and Israel are stronger than any division,” the rift between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no secret.

Israelis are increasingly nervous about the final negotiations between the U.S. and Iran and the possibility that a “bad deal” – as Netanyahu calls it – will be made with the Islamic Republic, allowing it to hold onto its nuclear ambitions. The deadline for the talks between Iran and the Six Global Powers is November 24.

Republicans have been calling for a stronger response to the Islamic State threat, which is another major issue of concern among Israelis.

As for the failed U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, American Secretary of State John Kerry recently announced his intention to resume the process.

(Copyright: Mike Mintz)

(Copyright: Mike Mintz)

While American Jews voted overwhelmingly Democrat in the last presidential elections – as the case has been historically – polls show that the majority of votes from Israeli-Americans were Republican. Perhaps this is an indication of the anxiety in Israel regarding the American response to existential issues affecting, first and foremost, the Jewish State, and subsequently the Free World. Furthermore, it could demonstrate the reaction in Israel to Tuesday’s mid-term U.S. elections and hope that such concerns will be seriously addressed.

Author: Atara Beck
Senior Writer, United with Israel

Tell us in the Comments below: How do YOU think the results of this election will affect Israel, if at all?

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