Obama’s Israel Trip

Mar 1 2013 @ 2:47pm

Beinart suspects that it has little to do with the peace process:

[W]hy is Obama going at all? The likeliest explanation is that he wants to delay Israeli military action, and thus buy himself some time for a diplomatic push with Iran, he wants to enlist Israel’s help in a push to end the Syrian civil war, and he wants to end Republican snickering that he hasn’t visited the Jewish state. Kerry’s current trip suggests as much. After initially announcing that he was visiting Israel in advance of Obama, Kerry abruptly canceled on the grounds that he doesn’t want to interfere in coalition negotiations. Instead, he’s embarked on a trip that, according to The Washington Post, “is expected to be dominated by discussion of the situation in Syria.” In addition to trying to meet members of the Syrian opposition, Kerry is visiting Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar—four countries that are crucial not only for any American push on Syria but for an Iran initiative as well.