A flare-up in the skies above Israel and Syria over the weekend has put a strain on Binyamin Netanyahu’s close ties with Vladimir Putin. The clash also makes it clear that Moscow is the boss when it comes to the Middle East.
A moribund Middle East peace process means that Israel is finding it increasingly tough to do business with its biggest trading partner, the EU. So, the self-proclaimed ‘Start-Up Nation’ is looking elsewhere for deals, and India fits the bill nicely.
The regional strategic context stands in contrast to 2008-09. The government in Cairo is now much more sensitive to popular sentiment, which has been inflamed by the violence. Egypt’s reaction to the conflict will be of keen interest to regional observers.
Obama's declaratory policy on Iran involves a fine balancing act that is designed for multiple audiences: a recalcitrant Iranian regime, a domestic population about to go to the polls, and a jittery Middle Eastern region led by Israel. Though this strategy has thus far been successful, it carries notable risks for the Administration in the midst of a continuing standoff with Iran.