Barak-McCain dubbed ideal combo


Ehud Barak and John McCain would form an ideal partnership as heads of their countries, according to an Israeli panel of experts.

Ha’aretz on Wednesday printed the results of a debate by its Israel Factor foreign policy discussion group on which U.S. presidential hopeful would work best with which Israeli prime minister – including the incumbent, Ehud Olmert, and his rivals for top office.

Asked to rate the potential partnerships with a grade of 1 to 5, the panel gave the U.S. Republican presidential candidate McCain and Israeli defense minister Barak the top mark of 4.25.

The least successful combination, according to the Israel Factor, would be Democratic hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton and Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who received a 2.125 average mark.

Assuming Olmert will not be ousted before the November election in the United States, the Israel Factor concluded he would work best with McCain. That combo received a 3.625, with Olmert-Clinton at 3.25.

Should the Democrats’ Barack Obama be the next U.S. president, his working relationship with Olmert would be a middling success, according to the Israel Factor, which gave it a 2.625 grade.

Though Olmert is well regarded in the United States, his image has also been dented by the failures of the 2006 Second Lebanon War. By contrast, Barak is seen as strong on defense. Netanyahu, meanwhile, is widely seen as having alienated many in Washington during his previous term as Israeli prime minister.

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