The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Bibi & Barack: Best Bros?

Will Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama—recently returned as Prime Minister and President, respectively—use their next terms in office to warm up their frigid relationship? Gerald Seib at the WSJ thinks so, writing that Bibi and Barack will “learn to live together in more harmony” from now on.

“For one thing,” writes Seib, “they now know they’re stuck with each other. More important, multiple forces—the turmoil elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel’s growing dependence on the U.S. to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, the sorry state of the Palestinian peace process—are more likely to compel cooperation.”

We hope he’s right. Moves like the Israeli decision to hand over roughly $100 million in tax revenues it was withholding from the Palestinian Authority show signs however small of a possible diplomatic convergence. And while the Obama administration and the Israeli government may have disagreements over Iran, Washington is likely to view with more sympathy concerns in Jerusalem about Syrian weapons (including chemical weapons) falling into the hands of the Hezbollah terrorists next door.

There are a lot of emotions in the relationship between Bibi and Barack, and lots of strains in the relations between the countries, but with the region in flames the two need to work together.

Published on January 30, 2013 12:00 pm