Cease fire talks going on, Kerry not invitedUnited States' tense relations with both Egypt (where the Obama administration backed the Muslim Brotherhood) and Israel.
In comments to Channel 2 on Monday afternoon, Oren cited the Obama administration’s strained relations with Egypt, and the “tension” in ties between the US and Israel. To Israel’s chagrin, he said, America has consequently not been able to play a more constructive role in this crisis, whereas previous administrations had been able to do so in past crises. He commented on the way the Administration handled the Arab spring, the blame it placed on Israel for the failure of the peace process, and the US’s strained ties with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Oren said Kerry and the Obama administration have close ties with Qatar and Turkey, “who are not on the best terms with Egypt right now.”
Oren emphasized that Kerry, who made things worse with a live-microphone slip Sunday criticizing the scope of Israel’s operation, was coming to the region even though that hot-mic incident showed he had “not been invited.”
“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry told an aide over the phone on Sunday, seemingly criticizing the Israeli government’s pledge to limit the scope of its ground invasion, Politico reported. Kerry used the same word, “pinpoint,” that was employed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a Sunday interview with CNN.Later in the phone call, Kerry added: “We’ve got to get over there…. I think John, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.”
It was plain from those remarks that Kerry decided on his own to come to the region, Oren said, rather than being invited to do so.
Oren’s comments followed remarks Sunday by Channel 2′s veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari, who said that as far as Israel is concerned, the secretary of state’s ceasefire trip was premature “and bad for Israel,” and that he should have left it to the Egyptians to lead the ceasefire effort. Ya’ari said many people, “including senior American officials,” tried to convey this to Kerry.
I guess the Obama administration has done one hell of a job of repairing the United States' relations with the Middle Eastern countries that George W. Bush had screwed up, haven't they?This marks the continuing trend of the Obama administration “to give credit” to the Muslim Brotherhood, in this case Hamas, Ya’ari said, except that now it’s graver, because “we’re in a war.”
The silver lining in the cloud as that at least the insufferable Martin Indyk has gone back to his think tank, and presumably won't be along on this trip.
What could go wrong?