Shortly after Donald Trump assumed the US presidency, I surmised that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would one day come to miss President Barack Obama. I must confess, however, that I had no idea how soon Netanyahu would be forced to dust off the moldy excuse that served him during the Obama administration and went something like this: I want passionately to end the conflict with the Palestinians, but sadly, my radical right-wing coalition government is hemming me in. Even a suspension of construction in Israel’s West Bank settlements will bring a premature end to my political career.
My colleague Ben Caspit recently described the situation as Netanyahu being forced to choose between a crack in the relationship with the Trump administration and a crisis in his relations with the national-religious HaBayit HaYehudi, led by his political rival, Naftali Bennett. Netanyahu has many other, varied options, however, and has had for a long time.