Click on the Russian-language version of the campaign Web site of Benjamin Netanyahu, the conservative Likud leader running for prime minister of Israel, and up pops a picture of him with Barack Obama. On the Hebrew version, Mr. Obama is not pictured. But he is, in fact, everywhere.
The colors, the fonts, the icons for donating and volunteering, the use of videos, and the social networking Facebook-type options — including Twitter, which hardly exists in Israel — all reflect a conscious effort by the Netanyahu campaign to learn from the Obama success….
Those who created the Obama Web site, including Thomas Gensemer, managing partner of Blue State Digital, say the Netanyahu site is closer to Mr. Obama’s than any others they have seen.
“Nothing has been so direct as the Netanyahu Web site, though we have seen others with shades of it,” he said.
Web sites aside, for liberals in both countries, the idea of Mr. Netanyahu as the Obama candidate of Israel seems mystifying. Of the three main contenders for prime minister in February’s election, including Tzipi Livni of Kadima and Ehud Barak of Labor, Mr. Netanyahu is the most hawkish and the least interested in the focus on dialogue with adversaries that Mr. Obama made a centerpiece of his foreign policy platform. Mr. Netanyahu has said he would shut down the current negotiations with the Palestinian leadership….
The phrase “Together we can succeed” is the campaign slogan on the Netanyahu site, and it echoes, to some extent, Mr. Obama’s “Yes we can.”