Israel struggles for new view in changing Middle East
Not for the first time this year, Israel finds itself a nervous spectator as tumultuous events in the region around it rapidly change the shape and nature of the Middle East.
The domino-like fall of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, not forgetting the violent turmoil in Syria, caught almost everyone by surprise and, arguably, left Israeli politicians floundering for a coherent policy response.
The Israeli government was criticised in many quarters for its lukewarm response to the Arab Spring - concerns about regional security and the rise of Islamic political parties were perhaps seen as more important than expanding political pluralism in the Middle East.
Justifiable criticism or not, those were events almost exclusively beyond Israeli control and over which it could ultimately have had little or no influence.
The thorny issue of recognition for a Palestinian state is different story.
The right-wing coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it abundantly clear that it opposes “unilateral” Palestinian moves towards statehood, either as a full member of the UN, via the Security Council, or for “Enhanced Observer Member” status, via a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly.