Memo to Bibi: Butt out

Jewish Democrats are sounding a bit riled up at the prospect of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu getting involved in our country’s presidential election.

I can’t blame them. Bibi is pals with Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. They go back a long way together, to when they were up and comers back east; Netanyahu spent many of his formative years in the U.S. and ran in the same circles as Romney back in the day.

Now Bibi’s pal is running for president against Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, with whom Netanyahu has a less-than-cuddly relationship – or so it’s been reported.

Never mind, of course, that President Obama has declared this nation’s unequivocal support of Israel, or that he has declared that Iran – Israel’s arch-enemy – must not not obtain nuclear weapons, or that our military alliance with Israel is as strong as it’s ever been. Romney is chastising the president for declining to meet with Netanyahu while the Israelis PM is here to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting in the Big Apple.

Netanyahu’s apparent desire to see Romney elected seems to have rattled some Democrats, who are suggesting that Netanyahu needs to keep his opinions to himself. Netanyahu knows enough about the American political system to understand that he has no role to play, any more than this country should dictate whom the Israelis want to see govern them.

My guess is that he’ll be circumspect from now until Election Day. He’d better, especially if the president’s lead in all the major polls holds up and he is re-elected. Netanyahu does not want to antagonize the leader of his nation’s major world ally and benefactor.