President Barack Obama’s re-election has left Israel’s prime minister in a bind.

Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly has clashed with Obama and was widely seen as backing Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the American election. Yet in the coming months, Netanyahu will need American support more than ever as the Palestinians seek upgraded recognition at the UN and the world grapples with the Iranian nuclear program.

“It seems like it is not such a good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Israeli Cabinet minister Eli Yishai told reporters early Wednesday as news of Obama’s victory emerged.

The concern reflected the widespread perception in Israel that poor personal chemistry between the two leaders could affect the broader relationship between their governments, particularly if Netanyahu is re-elected in upcoming parliamentary elections. The Israeli leader is the front-runner in the Jan. 22 race, according to opinion polls.

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