It was wise for Obama to emphasize who is leaving rather than who is coming into power:
And it is true that military cooperation with Israel is good—which is to say, normal not the greatest in history—but what Israeli leader believes that Obama can be relied on? The ones I speak to usually say something like this: “I never thought I’d see the day when we couldn’t depend on America.”
Incidentally, a number of analyses I’ve seen since writing this article emphasize Obama’s nice sentence about Israel as if it is of great importance or some kind of revelation. It is standard–even though he repeated the word “iron-clad”–and denotes absolutely nothing new. I don’t think Obama will do much in regards to bilateral relations but let’s be frank here: Since Obama believes he knows better what Israel security needs are than do its leaders then anything he does is “pro-Israel” even if it is against Israel’s will. I’m not trying to make any dramatic point here–again, bilateral relations will continue to be okay–but to point out the bizarre way Obama’s statements get interpreted in order to praise him.Barry Rubin
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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