JERUSALEM (AP) — While the world will be closely watching the U.S. election, some countries will be watching more closely than others.
A number of world leaders have a personal stake in the outcome, with their fortunes depending heavily on the success – or failure – of President Donald Trump.
Perhaps none has so much riding on a Trump victory as Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader, who had a rocky relationship with President Barack Obama, has praised Trump as “the greatest friend” Israel ever had in the White House.
Trump has delivered a series of diplomatic gifts to Netanyahu, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrawing from Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and offering a Mideast plan that heavily favors Israel over the Palestinians. The White House brokered the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
But Netanyahu’s close relationship with Trump — and more broadly the Republican party and its evangelical Christian base — has come with a price. It has undercut Israel’s traditional bipartisan support in Washington and alienated many Democrats, especially the rising progressive wing, and the largely liberal Jewish American community.
“For Netanyahu, a Biden victory would be a disaster,” said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on U.S.-Israel relations at Israel’s Bar Ilan University. He noted that Biden has already promised a different approach to Iran and the Palestinians.
Sidelined and humiliated by Trump, the Palestinians have made no secret about their hopes for a Biden victory.
“If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us,” the Palestinian prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said last week.
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