Pressure on next Israel government to repair foreign ties

Pressure on next Israel government to repair foreign ties
# 13 March 2015 21:58 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Whoever ends up forming a government after Tuesday's election in Israel will face the daunting task of repairing the country's frayed international ties, experts say, APA reports quoting AFP.

Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's aggressive style has strained relations with Israel's foreign partners -- including closest ally the United States -- leaving the Jewish state increasingly isolated.

For Netanyahu's supporters, the premier's take-it-or-leave-it approach has been essential to ensuring Israel's continued security.

But critics, including the centre-left Zionist Union headed by Labour chief Isaac Herzog which polls show is likely to win the vote, say the time has come for Israel to put the diplomatic back in its diplomacy.

"Wanted: A prime minister who can clean up Israel's diplomatic mess," left-wing daily Haaretz headlined a story on Thursday.

Among the challenges facing the next government are an unprecedented crisis in ties with Washington, a legal-diplomatic confrontation with the Palestinians, a looming international nuclear deal with Iran and tensions with Europe over settlements.

The already-frosty relationship between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama took a nose-dive this month after the Israeli leader insisted on addressing Congress to air concerns over a deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme.

"The price of publicising the issue and weighing on the public debate, which was attained through the Congress speech, is the loss of influence behind closed doors," said Yigal Palmor, a former spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry.

Experts believe a new Herzog-led government would definitely help the process of rebuilding ties with the Obama administration.