Monday, July 04, 2011
Obama's relations with Israel
It is clear that the relationship between Israel and the US has been on a downward spiral since the election of Obama as president.
Although Obama previously made a successful trip to Israel before being elected, he has not visited the state since this. This is despite attempts from Israeli officials to persuade Obama to visit. Obama also made a historic visit to Cairo where he delivered a major speech which included outlines for Middle East peace process; however he pointedly missed of a visit to Israel from the itinerary.
The Jerusalem- Washington shift in relationship was also certainly hindered by the treatment of Binyamin Netanyahu on his visit to America. One Israeli newspaper said that the Prime Minister had received, “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guniea”. Israeli’s viewed Netanyahu’s treatment as humiliation for Jerusalem.
Obama, previously being focused on Health reforms in the US, was thought to be distracted on the situation in the Middle East because of domestic reforms.
In addition to this Obama and Netanyahu have both publically admitted they had different views on the path to Middle East peace. Obama stated in a key speech that any future Palestinian state must be based on the borders that existed prior to the 1967 war. However, Netanyahu stressed that although there may be some concessions, the 1967 lines were indefensible.
This combination of issues has led to most Israelis seeing Obama as lacking in the basic commitment to Israel that characterised American presidents such as Truman, Clinton, Kennedy and Bush.