For one thing, Netanyahu will have to form a new government -- and this one could be perceptibly different in character than the last. There is unlikely to be an Ehud Barak to sound reasonable at home and abroad, particularly in Washington. It will be very hard to exclude the large group of settler radicals that constitutes Bennett's Jewish Home, the Likud faction will be smaller and itself more extreme, the ultra-Orthodox and newly-strengthened national-religious will make for less easy bedfellows, and Lieberman himself may have reasons to force elections relatively early in the term of the new Knesset (he is being indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust and if convicted but not imprisoned would have to sit-out the remainder of the Knesset term, hence his possible interest in an early dissolution of parliament). Moreover, while none of the centrist parties can be definitively ruled out as potential coalition partners, Yachimovich is on record as saying no, Livni has been the most pointed in campaigning against the area of Netanyahu's policies least likely to change (national security), and while Lapid seems most keen to join, he offers Netanyahu the most meager moderating cover at home and abroad and is an untested quantity in general.
Meanwhile, all of the policy issues that have gone ignored during the election campaign -- Iran, the Palestinians, internal democracy, and state-religion -- will soon come roaring back. Assuming Netanyahu assembles a rightist coalition, the most intriguing question will be the ways in which the enhanced radicalism of the parliament and government will find expression. The outgoing Knesset has already contributed to a democratic recession in Israel (the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel have documented the anti-democratic and discriminatory laws passed), an impasse in peace efforts, a frenzy of settlement activity that has produced unprecedented European frustration and condemnation, discomfort in the U.S.-Israel relationship (albeit with Netanyahu maintaining the upper hand), and glimpses of Palestinian diplomatic and grassroots activism, notably at the United Nations and in unarmed protests. Israel has also climbed quite high up a tree in threatening to strike Iran.
But the Palestinians are not going anywhere -- at least not of their own volition. The next coalition will likely find it even harder to pretend to the world that a 2009 Netanyahu speech in which the phrase "two states" was uttered is a genuine policy commitment. Two states was never formally adopted as government or Likud policy, it does not appear in the campaign of the Likud-Beiteinu party (in fact, it has been disavowed by Likud candidates and is considered to be a key reason there is no party platform), and it is safe to predict that it will also not be adopted by Netanyahu's next government.
The defining fault line of the new coalition will be less about two states or not, and more focused on the struggle between proactive annexationists and status quo merchants, meaning yet more deepening and entrenching of occupation. In the old Israeli political map, those considered "solutionists" were the two-staters. In the emerging Israeli political map, the "new solutionists" advocating action now are Greater Israel annexationists (a significant cohort of the Likud-Beiteinu and Jewish Home lists). One can still expect the status-quo camp to carry the day, and international reaction to yet more violations of international law to still be plodding and rhetorical rather than meaningful, but two connected factors should not be underestimated -- what Israeli overreach toward the Palestinians (settlement radicalism, collapsing the Palestinian Authority) could unleash, and the possibility of a more challenging Palestinian counterstrategy eventually emerging, especially in the new regional environment.
The empowered ultra-nationalist camp will also look for gratification inside the green line, continuing (possibly with greater success) its pursuit of anti-democratic and discriminatory legislation, its aggressive provocations toward Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel, and its impressive record of securing appointments for its camp in key governmental agencies while ousting the remaining islands of liberalism, with a notable target being the composition and competences of the Supreme Court -- what many consider to be the last remaining firewall for Israeli democracy. All of which will take place in a more restricted, more overtly partisan, and less pluralist media environment. Without wishing to be too alarmist, should the ultra-nationalists succeed, especially on judicial reform and appointment issues, Israel may enter uncharted territory in its long journey of divorce from democratic principles.