Netanyahu's Allies and Adversaries


The National Interest - March 20, 2013

Prof. Shai Feldman is Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center

As President Obama arrives in the Holy Land this week, he will be greeted by the same Israeli prime minister that has frustrated him since shortly after both men took office in 2009. Benjamin Netanyahu, also recently reelected, has just formed a new government—and the president and his advisors will find that anticipating how Israel’s new coalition might affect its foreign and defense policy is not easy.

The new government reflects the recent election’s confusing results. When added to other ambiguities of Israel’s electoral history, the results make it difficult to predict precisely what avenues the new government will take. The composition of the new Israeli government is the result of at least four new political realities:  the moderate stronghold,  Likud’s shift to the right, alliances of strange bedfellows, and the lack of foreign-policy debate. ...