Israel has recently lost quite a bit of its ability to chart its own strategic future, and this will make Obama's upcoming trip different than previous ones by U.S. presidents.
Ari Shavit is a senior correspondent at Haaretz Newspaper and a member of its editorial board.
Labor’s decision not to form a moderate socially-oriented government with Likud, Hatnuah and the ultra-Orthodox parties is a martyr’s move. The decision not to take part in the post-election power game is the decree of self-immolators with principles.
The Lapid-Bennet alliance intensifies the danger that sovereign Israel will finally be defeated by the Israel of the settlements.
If the Yesh Atid leader insists on keeping strange bedfellows with Habayit Hayehudi, a settlement freeze is unlikely – and peace prospects will suffer.
In avoiding the hard questions of Iran, the settlements and the Middle East, Israeli politicians have disengaged from reality.
It's impossible to march toward a diplomatic horizon with brother Naftali Bennett and sister Orit Strock of Habayit Hayehudi. It's impossible to advance toward a diplomatic horizon if we prefer hating the Haredim to stopping the settlers. The obligation of the Zionist center is not to exclude Shas, but to embrace it.
This election was a three-way affair involving an enfeebled Netanyahu flanked by two new, young and electrifying party leaders, who drew strength from the prime minister − and exploited it to the hilt.
Netanyahu and Lapid complement each other, if the two of them can get the better of themselves, conquer their evil inclinations and build mutual trust, they could be a pretty good leadership team.
They have the kind of ideological commitment usually associated with the national religious. Dov Khenin, of Hadash, and Meretz's Zahava Gal-On are going into the polling station swinging.
Israel will sober up, eventually. But apparently this will only happen after it hits the wall.