By Geoffrey Paul
May 3, 2011
Just as those who were around at the time recall where they were when Kennedy was assassinated, folks here in Washington DC are already exchanging details of where they were when they heard of the Osama bin Laden assassination. Most it seems were already in bed (a vast amount of US TV viewing seems to be done in a prone position) but quickly aroused themselves when they heard the President was to make an unprecedented near-midnight address to the nation. There's no question about the boost the killing of bin Laden has given his prestige. His re-election seems almost guaranteed, unless the Republicans find a strong (non-female) candidate to put up against him and there is no sign of this to-date. Many American Jews, specially on the religious right where support for Likud is solid, are concerned that a strengthened Obama,relying on his national popularity,will feel emboldened to pressure Israel for a deal with Fatah (now, possibly, Fatah-Hamas) which will be unsafe for Israel. Obama was already so unpopular among some Orthodox Jewish groups that congregations with which they pray have, quietly and unofficially, dropped recitation of the prayer for the President. While they most certainly applaud the political and military risk that Obama took in authorising the bin Laden operation, they are unlikely to be sporting the favourite tee-shirt of the day which proclaims the widespread delight that "Obama Got Osama!"