Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about shifting alliances in the Middle East. The article pointed out that Israel and Saudi Arabia have both had strained relationships with America under President Obama.
The article comments on both of these relationships:
Each relationship would become special in its own way: one based on the need to protect access to Saudi oil and stability in the Persian Gulf; the other driven by support for a Jewish state in the wake of the Nazi genocide and what would increasingly be seen as shared values and interests with the region’s only democracy. Over the years there were significant tensions in both relationships, but more predictability and consistency were demonstrated than change.
Shifts in the Middle East have produced unprecedented stresses in both relationships. The Arab Spring, particularly the fall of Hosni Mubarak and perceptions that the Obama administration had facilitated his ouster, alienated the stability-driven Saudis. Growing tensions between the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration on settlements and the peace process strained U.S.-Israeli ties.
There are still read questions about the role President Obama played in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak and the support of the Muslim Brotherhood government that replaced him. When the government of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was ousted, Washington voiced its displeasure.
The article concludes:
The administration’s view that Iran may hold the key to stability on the nuclear issue, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen has opened a divide with traditional allies who see things quite differently. As the administration looks more and more toward Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia will look beyond Barack Obama–biding their time, furthering their own agendas, and hoping that the next president, regardless of party, will see Tehran in a different light.
Unfortunately it will take some time to repair the damage done both internationally and nationally by President Obama and his policies. Hopefully the next President will be up to the task and will bring change instead of more of the same.