After failing to woo the left-wing Labor Party in pursuit of a unity government, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned in the other direction and tentatively formed a government of largely right-wing parties that many analysts believe will make it more difficult to pursue a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
"I don't think it's going to last long," Alon Ben-Meir, project director at the World Policy Institute in Manhattan, said of the new government.
Has the European Union, among the harshest critics of Israel during the past two years of Palestinian violence, changed its thinking?
A member of the European Parliament from France, which has seen some of the worst anti-Semitic and anti-Israel violence in Europe since the start of the intifada, believes it has.
Francois Zimeray bases his assessment on his success in garnering enough signatures from fellow members of the European Parliament to call for a probe of the Palestinian Authority's finances.
Israel's Ministry of Interior for nearly two years has refused to grant or renew visas for Christian clergy and other religious officials, an apparent violation of international religious freedom agreements, The Jewish Week has learned.
Critics of the policy, which has prompted rising anger and frustration among Christian leaders, are blaming Shas, the fervently Orthodox Sephardic political party, which has been running the Interior Ministry.
There were increasing signs this week that Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were genuinely interested in forming a unity government, despite Mitznaís campaign pledge never to join such a coalition.
Yuli Tamir, a strong opponent of such a union and a founder of Peace Now in 1978, told Israel Army Radio Wednesday that Labor Party leaders were getting the "impression that there is willingness on the part of the prime minister to reach more serious discussions."
As the Labor Party reaffirmed its intention to stay out of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new government, the chairman of the secular Shinui Party spoke of joining: and for the first time softened his demand that government handouts end for fervently Orthodox men who don't work.
"You have to do it gradually," Shinui leader Tommy Lapid told The Jewish Week. "We don't want to cause unnecessary suffering to large families. But people who are able-bodied men should go and work.