Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "What effect, if any, will the entry of Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party into the government have on the peace process and the prospects of renewing negotiations with the Palestinians?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #9: The Lieberman factor"
Arab-Israeli diplomacy has been effectively moribund since the Barak and Clinton terms simultaneously expired in early 2001, despite all efforts to revive it, both by Middle East leaders (such as Syria's Bashar al-Assad) and foreign diplomats (such as America's Philip Zelikow).
One consistency underlying Ariel Sharon's deeply inconsistent foreign policy was his lack of interest in negotiating with Arabs, an attitude subsequently inherited by the Olmert government.
In brief, there was minimal Israeli inclination to return to the bargaining table even before Yisrael Beitenu joined the governing coalition. Now that Yisrael Beitenu has a say in making Israeli policy, the prospect of negotiations is even more remote.
And a personal anecdote: Just before publishing my article, "Israel's Wayward Prime Ministers" in June 2004, I had a chance to present its thesis to Avigdor Lieberman, that four Israeli prime ministers in a row - Yitzhak Rabin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon - had deceived the electorate by promising while campaigning to be tough with the Arabs and then, when in office, adopting a unexpectedly concessionary approach. To this, Lieberman replied, "Not me, not when I become prime minister." (October 31, 2006)