Chaos in Middle East Grows as the U.S. Focuses on Israel

(New York Times) Mark Landler and Jodi Rudoren - Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a busy round of shuttle diplomacy, laboring to revive peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Yet administration officials no longer argue, as they did early in President Obama's first term, that creating a Palestinian state is the key to improving the standing of the U.S. in the Middle East. Sallai Meridor, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., said most Israelis would rank Syria, Iran, Egypt and Jordan above the Palestinians in terms of "importance and urgency." "Were you to ask people in the leadership of both Israel and the Palestinians whether they thought resolving the conflict now, given the developments in the region, is feasible, most people would tell you it's quite unlikely," Meridor said. Moreover, a preoccupied Egypt would leave the PA without crucial political support. "Abbas would say that to reach a deal, you need Arab support from Saudi Arabia and Egypt," said Ghaith al-Omari, the executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine. "With all the chaos, you might not get that."

2013-07-02 00:00:00

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