Two stories, first from the Wall Street Journal:
Israel and Egypt quietly agreed to work in concert to squeeze Hamas after Egypt’s military coup in 2013, a strategy that proved effective but which some Israeli and U.S. officials now believe stoked tensions that helped spur open warfare in Gaza.
We now have “U.S. officials” excuse-mongering for Hamas, blaming Israeli-Egyptian cooperation against terrorists for terrorists acting like terrorists. The telling detail however is three grafs down:
The U.S. encouraged Israel and Egypt to forge a close security partnership. What Washington never anticipated was that the two countries would come to trust each other more than the Americans, who would watch events in Gaza unfold largely from the sidelines as the Israelis and the Egyptians planned out their next steps.
This begs the question: Why would the Egyptians and Israelis trust each other more than the Americans? Maybe it’s because the White House suspended aid to Cairo after the military deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s creeping Islamist coup. Having the Obama Administration openly siding with Islamists probably, I’m really just guessing here, didn’t do much for our relationship with Jerusalem, either. Or maybe it’s because the Israelis figured John Kerry could be counted on to do something like this:
All across the Middle East, the traditional allies of the United States, just like the Israeli Left, feel that Obama has betrayed them. Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians, Emiratis, and Turks, despite the very real differences among them, nurture grievances similar in kind to those expressed on the pages of Haaretz. Ravid’s question—“What was Kerry thinking?”—deserves to be recast. It would get closer to the heart of the matter to ask what the president was thinking.
That’s from our second story, courtesy of Michael Doran for Mosaic. In the very next graf however he answers Ravid’s question:
The answer is as simple as it is surprising: the president is dreaming of an historical accommodation with Iran. The pursuit of that accommodation is the great white whale of Obama’s Middle East strategy, and capturing it is all that matters; everything else is insignificant by comparison. The goal looms so large as to influence every other facet of American policy, even so seemingly unrelated a matter as a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Obama’s Iran obsession has helped to set the entire region aflame, while taking away our tools for cooling things off.
And since it seems almost certain Iran will get the bomb anyway, you can chalk up every single thing this President has done in the Middle East as one big, bloody failure.