"...Israel's fear of rising Islamists is hard to swallow, when every sign is that democracy in Israel is leading it towards right-wing religious extremism. It might be useful here to remind ourselves that the parties that took over in most of Europe after World War II were defined by a right-wing Christian ethos, and most of the parties that rose to power after the transformation of Central and Eastern Europe were also religious. All of us need to support these Arab revolutions in the difficult process of building a framework for democracy and institutions that allow for the smooth and regular transfer of power."
"Israel's position regarding Hamas or the upcoming reconciliation talks is unclear. In general, Israelis are opposed to this reconciliation, as exemplified by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement that Palestinians must choose between Hamas or peace. Not that the Israeli prime minister was making any serious peace offers, but the right-wing Israeli government has shown in recent months a more pragmatic side to it....The Israeli-Hamas prisoner exchange and the indirect negotiations, through Egypt, with the aim of stopping rockets coming from Gaza show that Tel Aviv is not totally opposed to an understanding that includes Hamas."