Despite the reassurances of Shimon Peres and of Foreign Ministry officials, American Middle Eastern policy under President Barack Obama may lead to US-Israeli tensions. However, the policy directions adopted by Washington have significance for American national interests and the defense of the free world that go far beyond the Washington-Jerusalem bilateral relationship. While as a superpower the US has large margins of error, we have to pray that its learning curve regarding international realities will be short.
By Efraim Inbar
The Jerusalem Post
Obama’s intention to “engage” countries like Iran and Syria in order to start a “new page” in bilateral relations strikes most Israelis and Mideast Arabs as naïve, as if nice words can change established national interests. Arabs, as well, as Israel, want to see Iran and its proxies rolled back, not appeased, by Washington.
US Hillary Clinton’s recent statement to the effect that Arab support for Israel’s bid to prevent the nuclearization of Iran requires Israeli flexibility on the Palestinian issue – is similarly worrisome. It is that the State Department does not understand that the moderate Arab states will cooperate to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb regardless of the Palestinian issue. The Iranian threat dwarfs any potential repercussions of an impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian track. Above all, preventing a nuclear Iran is a paramount American interest. If Washington’s current prism on world affairs obfuscates its strategic judgment, the West is in trouble.
TWO WEEKS AGO we also learned that the White House is trying to make kosher the transfer of funds to a Palestinian government that includes the radical Islamist Hamas. This is another sign of strategic folly. Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, is an Iranian proxy with a clear jihadist agenda.