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Israelis launch their own tea party ahead of US elections

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"If Obama wants to pressure Israel, regardless of the results of elections he can do it," says Gershon Baskin, director of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information.

Expectations of a renewed push postelection

Moreover, both Israelis and Palestinians are speculating that if Obama's domestic agenda is curtailed by the loss of Congress, he might push harder for a breakthrough on foreign priorities like the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"The [American] tea party is about domestic matters," said a senior Palestinian official at a briefing Monday. "Maybe President Obama will find himself in a domestic box and seek external issues."

Many Israelis and Palestinians consider the Obama administration's efforts thus far a failure, and both sides say the president has exerted undue diplomatic pressure on them. While Washington succeeded in renewing talks Sept. 2 after a nearly two-year hiatus, they were suspended weeks later when Israel's 10-month settlement freeze ended Sept. 26.

Efforts to restart negotiations, in limbo over a dispute concerning Israel's renewed settlement building in the West Bank, have taken a lower profile during the final weeks before the Nov. 2 midterm elections. Many expect a renewed push once the political fallout is known.

Why Israelis have adopted US campaign tactics – again

The Israeli tea party rally, which featured handmade "Say No to Obama" signs, appeared to be a project of Likud's ideological faction, a group which has tried to block party leaders like Netanyahu and former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from curtailing Israeli settlements.

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