The current stormy geopolitical environment will not afford the new Israeli government a grace period. The long list of serious dilemmas, complex and intertwined issues, and decisions that will be made (or delayed), are expected to critically influence Israel’s future. The main geopolitical challenges within the global and regional framework are also stormy, riddled with question marks and are very much relevant to Israel’s fortitude.
The following report is intended to summarize the developments of the recent months regarding the central geopolitical dilemmas and challenges Israel faces:
- The nuclear agreement achieved with Iran, and characterized by Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu as “a mistake of historic proportions.”
- The danger of a military deterioration – on the northern front (Hezbollah and Syria), on the southern front (Hamas and terror groups in the Sinai), in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem (individual violence, public protests, and organized terror).
- Continuing tensions with the United States.
- The continued erosion in the U.S. view of the need to fill a central leadership role, or even maintain a presence in the Middle East.
- The push to change the paradigm for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from direct negotiations led by the U.S. to a multinational initiative backed by the UN.
- Israel’s dwindling international standing and growing BDS and De-legitimization efforts to inflict further damage.
- The strained resilience of the “triangular relationship”: Jerusalem – Washington – U.S. Jews.
- Realizing the opportunity to improve relations with the moderate Sunni countries (given the Iranian threat and those posed by radical terror elements).
Given these various challenges, the need to rehabilitate and nurture the relationship with the U.S. takes ultimate priority – as the U.S. is Israel’s only true and significant ally. This task will be complex given the issues at hand – the Iran agreement and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its various derivatives – and the substantive differences between Jerusalem and Washington over them. Already inflamed tensions could potentially worsen in the coming months and weigh heavily on the U.S. Jewish community, which may find itself between a “rock and a hard place,” further straining the resilience of the “triangular relationship,” which has served as a cornerstone of the strength and security of Israel and the Jewish people.