With Netanyahu's loud bickering with the White House, culminating in his Congress speech, Israel's PM has inadvertently positioned himself as someone whom the Americans won’t take seriously.
Amos Harel is one of Israel's leading media experts on military and defense issues. He has been the military correspondent and defense analyst for Haaretz for the last 12 years. In this role, he has written extensively about Israel's ongoing fight against terrorist organizations, its battles during the Palestinian Intifadah (uprising) and the last war in Lebanon.
Prior to his current position, Harel, 41, spent four years as night editor for the Haaretz Hebrew print edition, and from 1999-2005 was the anchorman on a weekly Army Radio program about defense issues. He also frequently appears in the Israeli and foreign media as a military pundit.
Along with Avi Issacharoff, Harel co-wrote "The Seventh War: How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians", a 2004 book about the second Intifadah. The book- a best-seller in Israel - has been translated into French and Arabic, and won the prestigious Chechic award in 2005, for outstanding security research.
Harel and Issacharoff's second book, "34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah and the War in Lebanon", about the war of 2006 was published in Hebrew in January 2008, and also became a best-seller. It was published in English, by Palgrave-Macmillan Books, in April 2008. "34 Days" also won the Chechic award in 2009.
Harel is a graduate of Tel Aviv University, with a bachelor's degree in Law. He is married with three children and lives in Hod Hasharon, in central Israel.
The Israeli army used a training maneuver in the West Bank this week to prepare for potential unrest in the territories. Haaretz accompanied the soldiers, and witnessed a surreal exercise.
The first order Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot gave was to improve readiness for possible conflicts, with an emphasis on training.
Central Command has completed a series of drills aimed at responding to a conflagration. Still, security services say an escalation is unlikely and cite Palestinian Authority efforts to prevent it.
Even if a military conflict erupts, Netanyahu is unlikely to be the one who initiates it. His bigger problem could be a new diplomatic initiative by the Palestinian Authority and growing isolation.
After four years of turmoil in the Arab world, with collapsing states and deranged terror groups within spitting distance of Israel’s borders, Israelis are concerned.
The new government, cabinet and even defense minister should rely on the experience of existing and former heads of the security branches.
Hezbollah is clearly determined to establish a new status quo along the Syrian and Lebanese border, which it sees as a single front with Israel.
Hamas officials call it the biggest round-up in years, say security coordination with Israel constitutes treason.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Amos Yadlin and Yoav Galant all recognize that might is not necessarily right when it comes to Gaza.