On the world stage, the United States is a bit like the popular guy who, love him or hate him, the whole school aligns themselves in relation to. Israel is a bit like the popular guy’s troubled friend who most people try to get along with a bit because the U.S. will take it personally if they don’t.
Or, to put it slightly differently, Israel is an important regional ally to the United States. The United States is the critical ally of Israel. And if Israel does something to seriously tick of a large or influential portion of the U.S., Israel is in serious trouble.
Now the U.S. is having a hugely contested election. Netanyahu apparently decides that this is a good time to start criticizing the Obama administration. The Romney campaign runs with it, as Netanyahu knew it would. So now Israel is tampering with—and taking sides—in a U.S. election.
It should go without saying that our election is none of Israel’s business and Israel should butt out of this one. But that’s not the part that makes me question Netanyahu’s intelligence. It’s that he seems to have tied himself to the Romney campaign.
Why in the world would you put a high stakes bet on that horse?
The key isn’t to win. It’s to push US policy on Israel to the right, and that’s been accomplished by allying with Romney.