Congressional Research Service (CRS)
US Library of Congress
By Jim Zanotti
8 January 2013
Summary: Close U.S.-Israel relations drive congressional interest in upcoming elections for Israel’s 120-seat Knesset (parliament), scheduled for January 22, 2013. Israeli leadership decisions may have profound implications for matters of high U.S. priority, including potential threats from Iran and its non-state allies (such as Hezbollah and Hamas), issues of ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and political change in neighboring Arab states. The composition of a probable new coalition and government led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could significantly influence Israeli decision-making, politics, and relations with the outside world, including the United States. In turn, this could affect U.S. popularity, credibility, and ultimately—national security vis-à-vis the Middle East and more broadly..