Obama might be able to promote a Palestinian state, but he cannot promise that it will respect civil liberties.
Israel Harel is a regular columnist for Haaretz. He is the founder of the Institute for Religious Zionism at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which he headed until 1995.
Harel began working as a journalist in the 1960s, as a young contributor to the Eretz Yisrael Movement's newspaper, This is The Land.
He went on to serve as managing editor of the Hayom daily and in 1972 became the assistant editor for the weekend edition of Ma'ariv, at the time the most widely read newspaper in Israel. In addition to that position, Harel also worked as an investigative reporter on Israeli corruption.
In 1991, Harel was asked by Haaretz to contribute an occasional column and to write as a guest journalist. When Chanoch Marmori took over as editor-in-chief, Harel's column became weekly, and it has appeared every Thursday since.
On the eve of the holiday, when Palestinian police officers murdered and wounded Jews at Joseph's Tomb, officers in the Central Command briefed reporters that a bunch of Bratslav Hasidim had broken through a roadblock in the rush to their idolatry.
In the most recent Hamas-Israel conflict, the Israeli government ignored one of the most basic rules of managing a battle: Take advantage of success until the fight is won.
The "Goldstone effect," which is mainly psychological, has disrupted the self-confidence of the IDF and the Israeli government. The price is being paid by the residents of the south.
Deep down in their hearts, quite a few Israelis do not take a grim view of crimes that entail jeopardizing state security.
If Katsav turns to the public and regrets his condemnation of the court, perhaps more than anything he did during his years in the President's Residence, this would help unify the nation.
Those who believe that peace is possible, and that the Palestinians are partners, ought to be the first to tell the truth about incitement. For by ignoring it they are undermining their own credibility, and above all, their own ideals.
Is there really anyone who believes that, now, when no one has a clue what the attitude will be of the new regimes to continued negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the time is ripe for Abbas to make decisions that he was not able to make before?
Those who oppose the separation and the disengagement are not at all weak, not in the justness of their cause or in their unique strength or moral position. And they are the absolute majority.
If left-wing activists had even a basic sense of self-respect, they would have told their donor countries: Thanks, but we'll use our own resources to realize our shared goals.