But neither Israel's prime minister, nor other regional U.S. allies, have any assurances America will stick around to manage the dangerous fallout from the Iran deal's implosion
Daniel Levy is President of the US/Middle East Project
Yet another U.S. administration is gearing up for a new season of the Peace Process Show. What's different this time is the unorthodox, unpredictable character of the new lead – President Trump
The effects of a Trump administration’s specific brand of pro-Israelism would likely accelerate – perhaps dramatically – two trends already in motion.
As Israel and various Arab states cosy up, anti-normalization looks like ancient history. Can the Palestinians really be sidelined so easily and comprehensively?
Not only is Israel factually and legally in the wrong, it needs Europe much more than vice versa; for the EU, Israel is a problematic ally whose actions too often undermine European interests and drive instability.
Credible leaks indicate the lop-sided Kerry framework is a step backward for Palestinians and rewards Israel’s intransigence. How can the talks regain their legitimacy?
Clumsy Israeli propaganda campaigns won’t obscure the realization in Europe and among Palestinians that the occupation must cease to be cost-free for Israel.
Conjecture abounds as to whether the PM has entered peace talks to do business or to filibuster, but a committed U.S. means testing times in store for Israel's coalition.
With no real case to make, the bullying opponents of the European Union's long-delayed plan to label produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank are crying anti-Semitism, cheapening the term at a particularly inopportune time.
If Obama begins to grasp the tribal, fluid and divided nature of Israeli politics and how to impact Israeli voters and their leaders (including Yair Lapid, the new leader of the Ashkenazi middle-class tribe), then this visit might be worth something after all.
The message from Israel's recent election: Netanyahu's government will only flip its 'Do Not Disturb' sign if the status quo becomes properly untenable, and that requires Obama's sustained attention, together with other international partners.
President Obama will continue to navigate the shifting geopolitics and earthquakes in the region with patience and pragmatism. But he will do so without a confidant in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office for as long as Benjamin Netanyahu is its occupant.
The 2012 elections may well prove to be a watershed in Israel-U.S. relations. Israel's chauvinist turn is increasingly out of sync with America's values, Netanyahu is no longer a useful ally, and Obama has new global priorities – and a war of choice with Iran is not one of them.
It is time for Israel to engage in the exercise that Palestinians have begun, and to ask what it is that we really want for ourselves.
Israel's strategic environment - notably the capacity it provides to avoid making choices and to disguise the status quo as progress - is about to change.
An Israeli presence at this greatest of global sporting spectacles would have been guaranteed to attract an unrelenting wave of protests, PR stunts and bad publicity.
Israelis might consider sending thank-you bouquets today to the national soccer teams of Switzerland and Greece. It is thanks to them that Israelis will have to choose between getting behind Brazil, England, Ghana or whomever, as the World Cup kicks off.
It is the human and civil rights community, the New Israel Fund, the demonstrators at Sheikh Jarrah and the few brave public figures who have joined them - including David Grossman, Moshe Halbertal and Ron Pundak - who are now the standard-bearers and source of hope in this decisive phase of the struggle for Israel's future.
Success or failure in achieving de-occupation and two states will depend primarily on the conversation between Obama and Netanyahu, their political calculations, priorities and persistence. And that conversation has barely begun.
Is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership, which is currently proposing to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 border, about to shake up the Israeli-Palestinian paralysis in a game-changing way?
The much derided and scorned Obama team now has a tricky interlocutor, in this case Israel?s leader, who is enthusiastically embracing their target (endgame two-state negotiations) as his own.
During recent Iran post-elections riots, Israeli pundits have indulged in an orgy of self-righteousness, while revealing an awful lot about their ignorance of Iranian affairs.
Israel now has a friend in the White House who is willing to hold a mirror up to the hard realities of political power.
The leaderships in both Jerusalem and Ramallah appear to share one common goal: finding a comfort zone, a place where the peace process can continue ad infinitum, and hard decisions can be avoided.
As a new administration takes over in Washington and the same old problems - and some new ones, too - still dog the Middle East, one of Bill Clinton's top diplomats looks at the mistakes of the past, and considers ways to get better results in the future
If Livni wants her vision of two states to be both credible and meaningful, she needs to come up with a game-changer.
On paper, government guidelines always talk about peace. On the ground, though, governmental actions just further entrench the infrastructure of occupation and expand settlements.
Israel must do more than extend a cease-fire − Israel must allow Gaza to breathe, to live on more than international handouts and to reclaim its dignity.