By Ted Belman
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,” in the words of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, and not an obstacle to warmer ties between the United States and the Muslim world, as was the view at the start of Obama’s tenure.
I wish I could believe it.
In the last meeting between Netanyahu and Obama, Obama made no mention of settlements. How come?
This did not happen for nothing: Netanyahu promised in return that within a year he will have a permanent settlement, and is signaling that the weight of the blow on Iran will be reflected in the extent of the concessions Israel makes. And if this belated love also helps Obama and his party in the upcoming congressional elections, the deal will be worthwhile in his view.
How could Netanyahu possibly promise that?