Israeli Rivals Share Hawkish Views on Iran, Hamas

With Every Major Israeli Party Running Pro-War Campaign, Prospects for Peace Seem Dim

Will it be hawkish Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, or really hawkish Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu? The foreign policy of these two prospective coalition leaders may be different around the edges, but on the most serious issues, it simply won’t matter much.

Both ran campaigns trumpeting the war in the Gaza Strip, the big difference being that Netanyahu condemned its ending. Both distanced themselves from the peacemaking efforts of outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert. Both have raised the prospect of attacking Iran more times than anyone cares to count, and both have ruled out talking to Hamas.

The unquestionable rightward move of the Israeli polity will likely also raise difficulties for President Obama as he tries to revive President Bush’s failed peace effort. Already in shambles since the invasion of the Gaza Strip, it is hard to imagine that either Netanyahu or Livni will put much effort into reviving it: right now the emphasis is on attracting even more hawkish minor parties into their respective camps for the battle to form the next government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of