Barack vs. Bibi

The past month has witnessed some tumultuous events that have further frayed the notoriously uneasy relationship between the United States and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party pulled off a come-from-behind victory in the Israeli elections on March 17, 2015. Two weeks earlier, Netanyahu delivered a speech before Congress—at which some 58 members of Congress were missing—attacking both President Obama’s effort to break the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians on a two-state solution, and his response to the Iranian development of nuclear fuels and nuclear weapons. These intensely political negotiations are tough and they are made even more difficult because of a set of structural difficulties that are then magnified by the personal characteristics of the key negotiators.