Jo-Ann writes in Dissent,

Israel used to be a nation of political parties marked by hard-and-fast ideologies—but not so much today. Even the right’s toxic combination of religious zealotry and hard-edged cynicism has more to do with a mindset than with a clear set of beliefs.

The life of a party these days barely lasts past an election cycle or past the successor to a charismatic leader. Parties that appear to be the next big thing (like the centrist Kadima a short time ago) disappear before the next cycle. It is a profound shift: although the new parties are ostensibly created around an idea, in fact they are dependent for their voter base upon often a sole personality.

. . .

Unleashed by a party that has moved away from him, the prime minister has no playbook to follow. He can do whatever he chooses. And if past practice is any marker, Bibi Netanyahu makes decisions day-to-day, not long term and, so far, not for the history books. But with his changed situation, his search for a legacy, and the indefatigable efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, he may just take the leap. It is plausible that he has internalized the urgency of the moment—if a two-state solution is not negotiated soon, it is difficult to imagine how it will ever materialize since the settlements keep expanding, largely under Bibi’s watch. More Palestinians will lobby for one state if they can’t achieve their own state separate from Israel.

Read the full post here.