Here is the genius of Qatar, the peanut-sized Persian Gulf state that provides material support to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly some of Syria’s jihadist rebel groups, in a single image: A two-cheeked kiss, in public, between Qatar’s second-most powerful man, the prime minister (and foreign minister), Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire who funds, among other things, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
The assassination of three Syrian military leaders loyal to President Bashar al-Assad may hasten the end of his family’s four-decade rule, an upheaval that would affect the security and influence of Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and other neighboring states.
President Barack Obama clashed so often and so publicly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the first 16 months of his tenure that one Israeli newspaper reported Netanyahu believed Obama wanted a confrontation to improve U.S. ties to the Arab world.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran’s effort to develop nuclear weapons is in a “red zone,” and the U.S. must set a clear “red line” that Iran can’t cross without risking a military attack.
Even as President Barack Obama benefits from an improving economy, an arc of crises from Libya to Afghanistan is pushing U.S. foreign policy worries into an election dominated by concern over the American and global economies.
President Barack Obama said there is a “window of opportunity” for diplomacy and sanctions to compel Iran to give up any effort to develop nuclear weapons, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. lawmakers those efforts won’t work.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she “made the international community’s case” in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to put more pressure on the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.