Israelis elected a new parliament this week. The results gave 30 seats in the 120-member parliament to the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Zionist Union finished second, winning 24 seats. A union of four Arab-led parties won 14 seats to become the third largest group in Israel's parliament, the Knesset.
Mr. Netanyahu has said he plans to form a government in the next two or three weeks. He said he already spoke with smaller parties on forming the 61-seat coalition he needs to govern. On Thursday, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog said his party will not join the coalition.
In the United States, debate has begun over how the election results will affect U.S. relations with Israel. Differences on major issues have led to increased tensions between the countries.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Netanyahu traveled to Washington and spoke to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. His comments about nuclear negotiations with Iran angered the administration of President Barack Obama. He called a yet-to-be-announced agreement with Iran, "a bad deal."
There are also tensions about the Middle East peace process. Earlier this week, Mr. Netanyahu said he would never support a Palestinian state. His comment came in the final hours of the election campaign. It appeared to overturn the position he had held as prime minister, when Israelis and Palestinians held peace talks. Those negotiations eventually broke down.
On Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu appeared to step away from that comment. He told American media he does not object to a "demilitarized Palestinian state." But he said that creation of such a state is not possible at the current time.
In the United States, lawmakers of the two major parties have congratulated Israel on the elections. But there was a striking difference in public statements between Republicans and Democrats.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, was satisfied with the election results. "Heartfelt congratulations to Netanyahu," he wrote on Twitter. Speaker Boehner said he was "looking forward to continuing the strong bond" between the two countries.
Another Republican, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, made clear he was cheering for Mr. Netanyahu, or, as he calls him, "Bibi."
"Bibi is one of the strongest people I've seen in the, in the world. So you gotta give him a lot of credit for winning that election and, personally, I believe that's in the best interests of Israel, and I'm glad they (Israeli voters) made that choice."
But many Democrats seemed to avoid discussion of Mr. Netanyahu at all. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey described the ties between the United States and Israel as "unbreakable."
"We're gonna be not only supportive of Israel's security, but also reaffirming the values that bring our countries together. So that's, in short, I think, (the case) no matter, no matter what happens in any election."
Another Democrat, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, had a similarly measured reaction.
"I'm looking forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Netanyahu and seeking peace in the Middle East."
Neri Zilber is with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He says the United States may continue having problems with Mr. Netanyahu's way of doing things. But he expects a continued U.S. push for its policy objectives in Israel. In his words, "you can expect an increased push by this administration on the Palestinian peace process. The U.S. will likely put forward its own idea with respect to what a negotiated final status agreement looks like," whether Mr. Netanyahu and the Israeli government like it or not.
I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise. And that's In The News from VOA Learning English.
The decision to allow more offshore oil drilling angered some Californians.
It was just a passing comment, he didn't go on about it.
When the Russian parliament overturned his decision, he backed down...
I wrote that song just to cheer myself up.
5.supportive adj. 支持的，拥护的，赞助的
He thinks we are living in a fully integrated, supportive society.
1.Differences on major issues have led to increased tensions between the countries.
Politicians say it could lead to a dissolution of parliament.
2.Those negotiations eventually broke down.
Paola's marriage broke down.
3.He told American media he does not object to a "demilitarized Palestinian state."
I don't object to the children going with us.
4.Speaker Boehner said he was "looking forward to continuing the strong bond" between the two countries.
look forward to期望，盼望
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
5.The U.S. will likely put forward its own idea with respect to what a negotiated final status agreement looks like
He has put forward new peace proposals...
本周，以色列人选举出了新的议会。在议会120个席位中，以色列总理内塔尼亚胡的利库德党赢得了30个席位 。犹太复国主义联盟获得24个席位，排在第二位 。由阿拉伯人领导的四个政党组成的联盟赢得14个席位，成为以色列议会克奈塞特中的第三大党派 。
内塔尼亚胡先生称他计划在未来两到三周内组建政府。他说已经就建立执政所需的61个席位的联合政府与较小党派进行了会谈 。周四，犹太复国主义联盟领袖赫索格(Isaac Herzog)表示，他的党派不会加入联合政府 。
本月初，以色列总理内塔尼亚胡访问华盛顿，并在美国国会的联合会议上讲话。他对六个大国同伊朗进行核谈判的评论激怒了奥巴马政府 。他称美国同伊朗尚未公布的协议是“糟糕透顶” 。
中东和平进程也造成两国之间的紧张关系。本周早些时候，内塔尼亚胡表示，他永远不会支持独立的巴勒斯坦国 。他在竞选的最后几个小时发表了该言论 。这似乎推翻了他担任总理时以色列和巴勒斯坦举行和平会谈时的立场 。会谈最终以破裂告终 。
周四，内塔尼亚胡先生似乎摒弃了那种言论。他对美国媒体表示，他不反对建立“非军事化的巴勒斯坦国” 。但他表示，当前建立这样的国家是不可能的 。
众议院议长约翰·博纳(John Boehner)对选举结果表示满意。他在社交网站推特上写道，“衷心祝贺内塔尼亚胡 。”博纳议长表示，他期待两国之间的紧密联系能够继续 。
“比比是我见过的全世界最强大的人。所以赢得选举让我对他更有信心 。就个人而言，我相信这符合以色列的最大利益 。我很高兴他们做出了这样的选择 。”
但是许多民主党人似乎完全避免谈论内塔尼亚胡。宾夕法尼亚州参议员鲍勃·凯西(Bob Casey)称美国和以色列之间的关系坚不可摧 。
Neri Zilber就职于华盛顿近东政策研究所。他说，美国可能还会对内塔尼亚胡处理事情的方式存在争议 。但他估计，美国会继续推进它在以色列的政策目标 。用他的话说就是，“你可以期待本届政府进一步推动巴勒斯坦和平进程 。美国可能会就谈判的最终协定提出自己的观点，”无论内塔尼亚胡及以色列政府是否喜欢 。