Israelis headed to the polls just one day after President Barack Obama’s second inauguration and as the peace process remains stalled and changes sweeping the Arab world introduce new challenges for Israel. The tense relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the projected winner of next week’s elections, raises questions as to how the two countries will cooperate in dealing with these challenges, and others, including Iran’s nuclear program. What do the election results tell us about Israel’s trajectory in the coming years? How will the United States and the region react to a new Israeli government?
On January 24, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion on the election outcomes and their meaning for Israeli domestic and foreign policy and for the incoming Israeli government’s relationship with the United States. Panelists included Brookings Fellow Natan Sachs, who has spent the last four weeks in Israel observing the election campaign, and Vice President Martin Indyk, director of Foreign Policy at Brookings and former U.S. ambassador to Israel. Senior Fellow Daniel Byman, Saban Center Research Director, provided introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.