As John Kerry prepares for his first trip to the Middle East as Secretary of State, his stops include Turkey, Egypt, and several other Middle Eastern countries. He will also visit a number of European countries. Kerry will not visit Israel.
Nevertheless, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Kerry and President Obama share a “commitment…to support Israel’s security and to pursue a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Kerry’s focus appears to be on Asia, and bringing in European countries to help Obama succeed in his plans for Asia.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the last Congress, says the focus on Europe “represents an acknowledgement by Obama that the shift toward Asia hasn’t been as smooth as he’d hoped.”
What this also means–regardless of administration platitudes–is that Israel is on the back burner for now, as they have been for some time.