News / Middle East

Analysts: Israeli Election Could Impact Obama-Netanyahu Relationship

Meredith Buel
Middle East analysts say the results of this week’s Israeli elections could set the stage for an improved relationship with Washington and impact the future of peace talks with the Palestinians and efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program.  
 
Yair Lapid is the new star of Israeli politics. The 49-year-old former television host burst onto the political scene with his centrist party capturing second place in parliamentary elections and positioning himself as a power broker in the formation of the next government.
 
Analysts say the vote was a rebuke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His conservative ticket lost seats in the new parliament despite placing first.
 
The Israeli vote came as U.S. President Barack Obama was inaugurated for a second term.
 
Analysts say his leadership style is bolder since reelection.
 
Robert Satloff is Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "It is absolutely true that Netanyahu’s success was not as great as Obama’s success, but it is a different political environment," he said. 
 
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship.  
 
But that could improve if Mr. Netanyahu forms a government open to talks with the Palestinians.
 
Jerusalem-based analyst David Ricci said, “It won’t be a moderate government but it will be compelled, I think, by international pressure to re-open negotiations.  I think the president of the United States is very interested in that.”
 
After Obama's inauguration, White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated the president’s policy. “What needs to take place are direct negotiations between the two parties that address the final-status issues and that result in a two-state solution," he said. 
 
But some Palestinians in the West Bank are skeptical that a new Israeli government will be a positive development.
 
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said, “While the Palestinian leadership has reaffirmed its immediate readiness to engage in negotiations on the basis of clear parameters, Israel, however, has instead persisted in its path of occupation, conflict and fear mongering.”
 
If there is a centrist government, Mr. Netanyahu may be under less pressure for a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. 
 
The Obama administration is hoping a combination of sanctions and diplomacy will avert an armed confrontation.
 
“The Israelis are willing to let the United States play this out, play Obama’s strategy out, to the very end and see whether the Obama strategy succeeds in convincing Iran to negotiate an end to its military nuclear program," said Robert Satloff
 
It's likely to take weeks to form a new coalition government, and Yair Lapid is expected to be right in the middle of the negotiations. 
 

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 25, 2013 7:56 PM
Jews, Greeks, Basque, Kurds, Persians (Iranian), Hindu, Chinese, Japanese, aboriginal peoples, etc are all ancestral people; they can trace their cultures to specific areas for well over 3000+ years, some go back 6000+ years; such people must have the right to live on/over/under their ancestral lands. Such people need to be protected and allowed to live in peace on their ancestral lands. Some of these peolple have been diplaced by empires, but that does not lessen their will/right to return to their native lands. Israel is the only country in the world that is the craddle of the Jewish culture; it finds itself under continuos threat. About 1/3 of the Jewish population of Israel are direct refugees or decendant of refugees from Muslim countries from which they were expelled/persecuted. About 1/3 are descendants or refugees from the European Holocaust, the remainder are descendants from regional Jews. The expulsion of the Jews, from their ancestral lands started, with the Roman empire. During the Christian Crusades, Jews were amongst those persecuted by the crusaders in Jerusalem and nearby areas. The Ottoman empire also shows large numbers of Jews still living in the present day Israel. Israel is a multiethnic/religeous state. Many uneducated people, quite often due to bias, are not aware that 1/3+ of Israel's population is Muslim, ~1.5 milion Muslims live in Israel with full rights accorded to as Israeli citizens; in addition ~200,000+ other religeous minorities live as Israeli citizens, such as Catholics, Copts, Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians, Bahai, etc. A testament of Isreal's committment to multi-ethnicity not equalled or reciprocated anywere in the ME. Israel is the only recognized democracy in all the ME.
Islamists, nazis, fascist and even some communists will always try to some how blame the victim for the crimes committed by them against the victim. Unfortunately, these people are biased, uneducated or outright racists; some are even more unfortunate; their senseless hatred is self demonstrable by their biased rethoric.

by: JohnWV from: USA
January 25, 2013 7:10 AM
Since Imperial Rome, it has happened again and again. Jews enraged their neighbors and repeatedly suffered disastrous pogroms. Excesses of Weimar Germany's monied Jewish minority led to the most recent which Israel promotes, actually advertises, as justification for its apartheid malevolence. “Never again” is lost on Netanyahu's Israel. Blind to history, its paranoid pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast ensures “again” on a far grander scale. Abandoning and aggressively isolating the Jewish state could force it abandon its grandiose aspirations and thereby avert its destruction. There is no greater or kinder support that America could render to both the Mideast and its “inseparable Mideast ally.”

by: Lightharry from: Frankfurt
January 25, 2013 5:25 AM
It does not appear that the United States has much control over the decisions in the ME. It appears that all decisions are made in Israel. American politicians fall in line when Netanyahu calls. Is there anyone out there working for the interest of the United States.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More