#ThanksObama... for making America's former allies into our allies
It's not just Israel that doesn't trust Barack Hussein Obama. And in one of the best examples of countries having interests rather than friends, a group of previously irreconcilable American allies has joined together look out for their own interests
in the waning days of the Age of Obama. Bret Stephens reports.
I’ve spent the better part of a week talking to senior officials,
journalists, intellectuals and politicians from across Israel’s
political spectrum. None of it was on the record, but the consistent
theme is that, while the Jewish state still needs the U.S., especially
in the form of military aid, it also needs to diversify its strategic
partnerships. This may yet turn out to be the historic achievement of Benjamin Netanyahu’s long reign as prime minister.
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon publicly shook hands with former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal at the Munich Security Conference. In January, Israeli cabinet member Yuval Steinitz
made a trip to Abu Dhabi, where Israel is opening an office at a
renewable-energy association. Turkey is patching up ties with Israel. In
June, Jerusalem and Riyadh went public with the strategic talks between
them. In March, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the Washington Post that he speaks to Mr. Netanyahu “a lot.”
de facto Sunni-Jewish alliance amounts to what might be called the
coalition of the disenchanted; states that have lost faith in America’s
promises. Israel is also reinventing its ties to the aspiring Startup
Nations, countries that want to develop their own innovation cultures.
In October, Israel hosted Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
for a three-day state visit; New Delhi, once a paragon of the
nonaligned movement that didn’t have diplomatic ties to Israel for four
decades, is about to spend $3 billion on Israeli arms. Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, who is personally close to Mr. Netanyahu, sees
Israel as a model for economic reinvention. Chinese investment in Israel
hit $2.7 billion last year, up from $70 million in 2010. In 2014,
Israel’s exports to the Far East for the first time exceeded those to
Then there is Europe—at least the part of it that is
starting to grasp that it can’t purchase its security in the coin of
Israeli insecurity. Greece’s left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
used to lead anti-Israel protests. But Greece needs Israeli gas, so he
urges cooperation on terrorism and calls Jerusalem Israel’s “historic
capital.” In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is moving to prevent local councils from passing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel.
this amounts to another Obama administration prediction proved wrong.
“You see for Israel there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that
has been building up,” Mr. Kerry warned grimly in 2014. “There are
talks of boycotts and other kinds of things. Today’s status quo
absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100%, cannot be maintained.”
Except when the likely alternatives to the lousy status quo are worse.
Maybe we need to say #ThanksObama after all. Just not the way he expected. Heh.
Labels: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Barack Hussein Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, China, David Cameron, Greece, India, Japan, Moshe Yaalon, Turki al-Faisal