One reason Netanyahu might call elections early:
[I]f President Obama is re-elected and decides to resume his stalled effort to rebuild the peace process, Netanyahu will face pressure from Obama to make concessions during the Israeli campaign. If he makes concessions, he splits his own coalition; if he refuses, and relations with the US worsen as a result, his opponents can argue that Netanyahu’s hard line endangers Israel’s relationship with its most important ally. Running now, when Obama has an election of his own to consider and is eager to avoid a breach with Israel for a variety of reasons, might neutralize the US issue during the race.
Meanwhile, Olmert sounds like the Dish:
“America is not a client state of Israel — maybe the opposite is true,” he said. “Why should we want America to be put in a situation where whatever they do will be interpreted as if they obeyed orders from Jerusalem?”
Oh, and a memo to AIPAC's bullies:
“As a concerned Israeli citizen who lives in the state of Israel with his family and all of his children and grandchildren, I love very much the courage of those who live 10,000 miles away from the state of Israel and are ready that we will make every possible mistake that will cost lives of Israelis.”
But what's fascinating to me is how a center-right Israeli politician is far less hawkish and paranoid than his Jewish American audience.
(Photo: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrives for the beginning of his corruption trail at the Jerusalem District Court on May 31, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. By Kobi Gideon-Pool/Getty Images)