President Barack Obama was welcomed yesterday with royal honors upon his first visit to Israel. The relationship between the two countries has never been better, and it is now expected that the personal relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reflect that relationship as well.
The United States deserves credit. It knows how to analyze a situation come to the right conclusion and as needed, change their line.
When President Obama began his first term he was very open about his intentions that the approach of his administrations towards the Muslim world would be different than his predecessor. Since then however, the Arab Spring has turned into a frozen winter and the hope that the United States would somehow benefit from the sympathy it has shown to the uprisings proved to be major miscalculation.
Four years after his historic speech in Cairo, President Obama now understands that he placed himself in a corner. The United States lost their level of influence in Egypt, the largest of the Arab countries. Once-friendly Tunisia has now fallen into the hands of Muslim extremists and the situation in Iraq is from satisfactory. Jordan is bleeding, the Saudis and their immediate neighbors are angry. The only ones who aren’t being threatened by the Arab countries are the Iranians, the Turks, the Russians and the Chinese.
If the new rapport between Obama and Netanyahu will continue along the path that was exhibited on Wednesday in Yerushalayim — they were referring to each other by their first names — it will bode well for the relationship between the countries. As for the various other issues, it is doubtful that the Iranian crisis will be solved anytime soon. While the Americans are cognizant of the crucial important of this issue, they are afraid to act and are preventing others from acting. During this visit, Obama is investing great effort to try to bring Israel and the U.S. on the same page regarding Iran.
On the other topics — such as Syria, Turkey, and Jordan — there is essentially no difference between the two countries. All these topics are being discussed almost daily between the two governments.
President Obama didn’t come to Yerushalayim to put pressure on Netanyahu, not even regarding the Palestines. He came to reset a relationship.
At the conclusion of his joint news conference, Obama referred to the fact that he is now serving his second term as President and Netanyahu his third term as Prime Minister. “That really fixes things,” the president quipped.
Lets hope he is right.