Into the Fray: Barack, Bibi and the bomb

...The Cairo caveat

After the first three years of his presidency, political exigencies, domestic and foreign, have forced Barack Obama to try to reinvent himself with regard to his attitude toward Israel.

The initial hallmark of his administration’s foreign policy was his outreach to the Muslim world and blatant – some might say brutal – belligerence toward Israel. It is important to remember this in assessing just how much store Israel – and pro-Israeli Americans – should place on the president’s charm offensive at the recent AIPAC conference.

For while it is true that much water has flown in the Potomac (and the Nile) since Obama’s initial outreach address to the Muslim world in Cairo (June 2009) shortly after he took office, the significance of the sentiments conveyed in that speech should not be underestimated.

Because it was delivered when he was still unencumbered by domestic constraints and foreign frustrations, it reflected most accurately the political instincts he brought to the Oval Office....

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