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Friday, April 15, 2016

Israel is less isolated than the U.S.

One of the oddities of President Obama’s approach to the Middle East is that its hostility to Israel and its lack of support for Sunni allies have left the United States less influential and less respected with everyone in the region (including Iran) while Israel has become closer to its Arab neighbors. A recent event highlights this phenomenon.
The islands of Tiran and Sanafir are two tiny specks of land located at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba. . . . And yet, the islands continue to make headlines. In the last 70 years, they have changed hands nearly half a dozen times. This week, Tiran and Sanafir — which historically belong to Saudi Arabia but since 1950 were ruled by Egypt and twice captured by Israel — were in the news again as Cairo agreed to hand them back to Riyadh in exchange for the creation of a $16-billion investment fund.
This is a bigger deal than one might imagine. “It is very significant. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is agreeing, according to press reports, to abide by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty,” says Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security adviser. (Read More)