Midterm elections: International media reports on the 'pummeling'

Americans weren't the only ones watching the midterm election returns Tuesday night as Republicans took back the US House of Representatives and Democrats clung to a slight majority in the Senate. We take a look at a few examples of media coverage (and in some cases, a lack of media coverage) beyond the US.

1. Israel

Many Israelis, including those in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hawkish coalition government, have bristled at the Obama administration’s efforts to stop settlement construction and pressure for other Israeli concessions in the peace talks with the Palestinians. Much of the post-midterm election coverage has reflected hope, and even confidence, that the new makeup of Congress, most notably Jewish Rep. Eric Cantor’s likely assumption of the majority leader post, could lead to a more pro-Israel shift in US policy and action. Cantor told the left-leaning Israeli daily Ha’aretz last week that a Republican congress would have a positive impact on the US-Israel relationship.

In an op-ed from the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot, Yoram Ettinger writes that Congress is “systematically pro-Israel” and the new make-up will once again reflect that:

The outcome of the mid-term election has reconfirmed that the US is indeed The Center-to-Right Nation, which has always been pro-Israel. ... The outcome of the November 2010 election behooves a reassessment of Jerusalem's policy toward Washington that has erroneously assumed that US presidents are omnipotent in foreign and national security matters, while Congress is supposedly a "support actor." In fact, Jerusalem's policy toward Washington should reflect the policy co-determining power of Congress - the most authentic representative of the American people, and therefore a bastion of support of the Jewish State.

But the Jerusalem Post’s diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon said that the Democratic defeat in the midterm election had little to do with Obama’s Middle East policy and Israelis should expect it to remain consistent:

Obama has been very consistent regarding his perception of our conflict, and the way to resolve it. ... Obama's commitment to remaining heavily engaged in the diplomatic process, to working toward a two state solution, and to publicly coming out against construction in the settlements, is not likely to change as a result of the elections, or the resounding defeat his party received. He will not, justifiably, interpret that defeat as a vote on his Middle East policies.”

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