Ephraim Yuchtman-Ya'ar is Professor of Sociology and Social Psychology at Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and a former Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

The positions taken by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in regional peace talks depend upon the consensus he builds for them within Israeli society. The consensus, in turn, rests upon the tension between security, democracy and nationalism that underscores Israel's political reality. The dovish or hawkish tendencies of the many constituent groups in Israeli society are always in evidence and often form complex alignments. Ephraim Yuchtman-Ya'ar explains how Israeli political dynamics affect the calculations of politicians and the stability of democracy.