Obama in the Middle Eastern eye


Here’s how the Middle East is reacting to Barack Obama’s win Tuesday:


  • Gideon Levy of the left-wing Ha’aretz gushes about Obama’s victory and eloquence but notes that "in conservative and partially racist Israel, quite a few people are already looking sour."
  • Editorialists at the right-wing Jerusalem Post begin an editorial about Obama’s victory with news of Palestinian violence from Gaza, then focus on the graciousness of John McCain’s concession speech: "Such classy behavior stands in sharp contrast to the deportment of many an Israeli politician who, confronted by defeat, goes off and sulks. Granted, Israel’s proportional system does not foster absolute winners. Still, where is it written that competing politicians should treat each other with unrelenting disdain?"
  • Though encouraged by Obama’s win, Lebanon’s Daily Star cautions that it would take more than two full terms to undo the damage of the George W. Bush, and that nobody should expect miracles in the Middle East because of a certain lobby in Washington:

Especially in the Middle East, therefore, no miracles should be expected. An entire subculture operates within the American political arena, and although it is widely known as the "Israel" or "Jewish" lobby, it represents neither US nor Israeli interests, only those of far-right ultra-Zionists, and its influence on American views of the region is enormous. The fact that this group led the cheer for the very Bush policies that caused so much misery in the Middle East – and which were so thoroughly repudiated by the American people on Tuesday – does not mean that the lobby will go away.

  • Obama is doomed to be the new Jimmy Carter, writes Mishaal al Gergawi in Abu Dhabi’s The National.

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