U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was bubbling over in his reaction to the elections, sending a message of congratulations to the Israeli people on Tuesday night.
“Mazel tov to the Israeli people on their just completed elections! Always inspiring to see democracy in action!” he wrote. “Fascinating election from a U.S. perspective. Every democratic system is different. Important thing is the people have their say,” he said.
The United States “looks forward to working closely with the next government of Israel.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was somewhat more restrained. President Barack Obama’s official spokesman said the Obama administration would wait to see the makeup of the new government before deciding on how to approach long-standing and critical issues.
“The United States remains committed, as it has been for a long time, to working with the parties to press forward the goal of a two-state solution. That has not changed, and it will not change,” Carney said.
Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, shared a dour assessment with the BBC:
“President Obama doesn’t have high expectations that there’s going to be a government in Israel committed to making peace and capable of the kind of very difficult and painful concessions that would be needed to achieve a two-state solution,” he said.
But Aaron David Miller, once a senior U.S. adviser on the Mideast, said a weakening of the Israeli right-wing might improve ties: “The fact is, if (Netanyahu) goes with Lapid and he reaches out to the center, you’re going to end up with an American-Israeli rapprochement to a certain degree,” Miller told CNN.