Middle East

Israeli Right Ascendant

President Obama is hoping for a peace settlement in the Middle East, but Israel's next government may not be willing to cooperate: The New York Times reports that in Israel "there appears to have been a shift further to the right, reflecting a feeling among many voters that an even tougher approach may now be required." Recent polls show Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party has solidified or increased its lead ahead of the upcoming election, while the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu has made the biggest gains. Bloomberg reports that in Egypt, meanwhile, President Hosni Mubarak is facing increasing pressure at home for his efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. "If negotiations fall apart, Egypt's credibility as self-declared regional stabilizer and leader of the Arab world will be damaged."