Obama's Turnabout

(Ha'aretz) Aluf Benn - President Barack Obama's campaign of wooing Israel reflects a fundamental about-face in U.S. policy in the Middle East. U.S. priorities have changed: At the top are the intensifying problem of Iran and concerns about the change of leadership in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Under such circumstances, Israel is perceived as a vital ally, and not an obstacle to warmer ties between the U.S. and the Muslim world, as was the view at the start of Obama's tenure. When Obama came into office he hoped to reach an agreement on sharing influence with the regional power, Iran. So he cooled toward Israel and pulled out of the closet the well-worn club called "settlements." But that didn't work. The Iranians waved off Obama's goodwill gesture, and the Arab states ignored the Palestinian issue and made it clear that blocking Iran was more important. This is the reason for the turnabout in Obama's approach.

2010-07-21 08:49:10

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