Reacting to U.S. Elections, Israelis Predict Future Congressional Support

Israeli officials said this week that they doubt that the Republican landslide in the American elections for Congress will harm U.S.-Israeli relations.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would not comment directly on the election results.

“I don’t think we have to say anything about domestic political developments in (the United States). The American people have decided,” he told Israel Radio, adding, “I believe support for Israel is wide and encompasses the two major parties.”

Likud opposition party leader Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the same sentiments, but warned that Israel should prepare for reductions in American aid. Over the past several years, Congress has approved an annual $3 billion in annual aid to Israel, the highest recipient of U.S. aid.

Netanyahu described this week’s election results as part of trend “for greater introspection in the United States, regardless of political parties involved.”

He told Israel Radio that Israel has to “adopt a long-term plan to wean ourselves from dependency on American financial support, not because there will be anti-Israeli sentiments in America, but because there will be fewer resources that will go abroad.”

Danny Halperin, a former economic attache to the United States, told Israel Radio that from now on, “Israel and its supporters will have to pay more attention to what’s happening on Capitol Hill, and not just in the administration.”

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