Obama gets a second chance, in a second term of office

One of the best things about the results of this presidential election is that there will be no pause during a “lame duck” period.

Barack Obama will have to continue to work — with renewed determination and energy, as he said in his victory speech which we were able to see in the morning in Jerusalem + Ramallah.

His first international call, after being sworn into office in January 2009, was to Mahmoud Abbas. Any chance that Obama’s first international call today, after being assured of his reelection, will also be to Abbas? [UPDATE: There’s no word here about any Abbas contact Obama, but the Israeli Government Press Office, or GPO, has sent a notice that Netanyahu did speak with Abbas on Thursday. The Israeli announcement didn’t say who initiated the contact, but it seems to be Netanyahu.]

Abbas has already sent his congratulations to Obama. Sa’eb Erekat, the Chief Palestinian negotiator, said that Obama must now help try to stop settlements, and not block the apparently-imminent Palestinian move in the UNGA to upgrade from observer organization / “entity” to observer [but still non-member] state.

The U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro this morning said the Palestinian UNGA move would be “unhelpful”, but noted that the U.S. has an interest in maintaining the PA in the West Bank — despite Israeli plans to retaliate to the UNGA move.

The U.S. State Department has recently noted that Congressional legislation mandating a cut in funding to the PA if it made any “unilateral” move in the UN “outside the context of negotiations” does give the Secretary of State the option to waive financial sanctions in the interests of U.S.”national security”.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked the U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro to visit him today — and will reportedly try to put a call through to Obama during Amb. Shapiro’s visit…

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