This report discusses Israel's relations with the United States and highlights the recent developments in domestic politics, election results, government formation, the peace process with the Palestinians and with Iran. "After the brief war called Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the Gaza Strip ended on January 18, 2009, security became the main issue in the final weeks of the political campaign for the February 10, 2009 Israeli national elections. Kadima Party leader and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, commonly referred to by his nickname 'Bibi,' and Labor Party leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as the heads of the leading parties in the outgoing Knesset were seen as the main contestants. Polls also predicted that Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) led by Avigdor Lieberman would make a strong showing."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33476