It was strange that the new Knesset members were sworn in last week.
It has not been more than five months since Knesset members sworn in. After new elections, political paralysis has continued, so they may have to do so again soon.
In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a black tone in his supposedly ceremonial speech.
He warned of a possible war with Iran and unprecedented security challenges saying it did not resemble any previous challenges since the days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Naturally many commentators saw in his speech a familiar rhetoric aimed at convincing his listeners that he should lead the country even though he failed to win a parliamentary majority in the last elections in September.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the great Iranian threat said columnist at Maariv Bin Kasbet, taunting Netanyahu for intimidation of the security threat.
But Netanyahu’s speech also fueled anxiety on the eve of Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement in Judaism which came across a surprise attack by Arab armies 46 years ago
One of the main concerns is US President Donald Trump’s Middle East policy and the questions it raises about the strong relationship between Trump and Netanyahu.
The Israeli prime minister has made that relationship a key attraction to persuade voters to choose him, claiming that being prime minister has paid dividends.
The Netanyahu era saw the Trump administration change long-term US policy by recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu sees Trump’s decision to abandon the deal with Iran and to harden it again to justify his own strategy to protect Israel from Iranian influence in the region.
Anything that does not amount to firm support on either side will be unusual, so Trump’s reluctant reaction to the recent Israeli elections seemed to sound the bell. Trump emphasized that the US relationship with Israel was principled and not person-related.
This has led some of the Israeli press to conclude that Trump does not like losers especially friends who do not earn despite his strategic help.
This may be an exaggeration but it sheds light on Netanyahu’s fragile position after he failed twice to form a government. He is trying to hold onto his position, which could help him avoid being indicted for corruption, which could happen soon.
Another important development is Trump’s diplomatic approach to Iran. This is evident in the US president’s reluctance to respond to an attack on Saudi facilities likely to come from Iran.
The Israelis continued to press more explicitly on Iran’s proxies in the region determined to prevent Iranian missile proliferation in areas close to the border. But the attack on Saudi Arabia sounded the alarm.
If Iran could hit Saudi targets with missiles it could do so with Israeli targets.
The deadly strike by the Iranians on Saudi oil installations with cruise missiles fired from Iran, an attack unanswered by the Trump administration, proves the collapse of the security doctrine promoted by Netanyahu after he based all his decisions on the US president closest to Israel among all those who occupied the White House. Shimon Scheffer wrote in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
Then came Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northeastern Syria to open the way for a Turkish military operation and abandon his Kurdish allies.
That has once again raised doubts about the extent to which Trump can go to protect his allies. “Trump is no longer a trusted ally of Israel,” Scheffer concluded.
In fact, there are no signs that the United States will reduce its unwavering support for Israel’s security.
But after three years of close alliance between Israel and the Trump administration Israel faces a reality made by a president whose decisions are unpredictable strongly discouraged from resorting to military option, and fearful of engaging in a new Middle East conflict which just like Netanyahu is mired in domestic battles for survival.