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Yuval Steinitz, a Likud legislator who has pressed for a hard line against Iran, said the new president faces a stark choice: “He will have to choose in the next year whether to be Chamberlain or Churchill.”

At the same time, Palestinians said they feared that the conflict will be pushed to the back burner.

“This administration is going to take its time coming to this issue,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former member of the Palestinian Cabinet. “The warnings are against high expectations, and expecting quick change.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II sent Mr. Obama a message saying he looked forward to cooperation with Washington to “resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in line with a two-state solution.”

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had trouble disguising his relief that Mr. Obama had defeated Sen. John McCain, a Republican perceived as more supportive of unilateral U.S. military action.

“With a glad heart, I welcome this new era of partnership for change,” Mr. Ban told reporters.

Mr. Ban said he would offer assistance to Mr. Obama’s transition team and discuss with the president-elect areas of mutual interest “like climate change and millennium development goals, the food crisis, the financial crisis, human rights, and also many regional conflict issues on which we need strong U.S. cooperation, assistance and participation.”

“I am confident, today, about future relations between the United Nations and the United States,” Mr. Ban said. “I am confident that we can look forward to an era of renewed partnership and a new multilateralism.”

Wendy Morigi, Mr. Obama’s national security spokeswoman, said the president-elect deeply appreciates the response from people and their leaders.

“He looks forward to speaking with those leaders in the coming days and working with them to address our common challenges,” Ms. Morigi said.

• Kelly Hearn in Washington, Al Webb in London, Joshua Mitnick in Tel Aviv and Betsy Pisik at the United Nations contributed to this report.