Be that as it may have been, there is no chance whatsoever that Obama will now tolerate an Israeli attack. It would have ignited a large scale war with incalculable consequences for the US and world economy.
Americans don't want another war. They want to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, in practice ceding both countries to their adversaries. Starting another, and far bigger war in Iran is unthinkable.
This may be, for us, the most important result of these elections.
WHAT ABOUT Israeli-Palestinian peace?
No doubt, chances have picked up.
I don't want to sound too optimistic. The usual cliche says that US presidents in their second term are free of political pressures and can at long last act according to their conscience. That is certainly true -- up to a point.
The President is the leader of a party, and from the first day after an election the party starts to think about the next election. Powerful lobbies like AIPAC don't cease to exist and will continue to exert a lot of pressure for the Israeli right. Big donors will still be needed. In two years, mid-term elections will come up.
But I hope that Obama will return to his starting position and try to compel both sides to commence serious negotiations. The forthcoming Palestinian application to the UN General Assembly to accept it as a state (with observer status) may be a test. Its acceptance is of great importance, since it would put the two-state solution squarely back on the international table. The US has no veto power there, and it is up to the president to decide whether to apply pressure or not.
The US is like a huge aircraft carrier. To turn around it needs a lot of time and space. But even a slight change of course can have a major impact on our lives.
IN ISRAEL, the major question is: Will He Take Revenge?
No doubt, Obama hates Netanyahu, and with good reason. Netanyahu will not receive a warm welcome in the Oval Office.
But Obama is a cold fish. He will keep his personal feelings in tight check.
But how tight? Will he change his attitude towards Netanyahu and his policies enough to give encouragement or even support to Israeli peace forces? Will he influence the Israeli elections as Netanyahu tried to influence the American ones?
Frankly, I hope so. For Israel's sake.
Obama's victory will reinforce the liberal, democratic, secular, social-minded, less-militant spirit throughout the world. If the Israeli government continues on its present course, its isolation in the world will increase dangerously.
Unless we do to Netanyahu what the Americans just did to Romney.