Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to the Middle East – but following the pattern of his boss up until now, he won’t be touching down in Israel. His first visit will focus on Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Instead, Kerry is delaying his trip until after the new government of Israel is constituted. “The secretary will be traveling there with the president when he visits later in the spring in lieu of making his own separate trip in February to Jerusalem and Ramallah,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar are all nations opposed to the existence of the State of Israel. But pressure from the United States is obviously shaping coalition negotiations in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointing opposition leader Tzipi Livni to head up talks with unnamed Palestinians.
Netanyahu says that the Palestinians have yet to put forward a party with which Israel can negotiate. Nonetheless, with Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel, the political winds are obvious: Israel will be forced into concessions to terrorists and their allies unless they stand up to the administration, or outmaneuver Obama.