Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Valeria Sabate
Obama visits Israel to discuss political issues in Middle East
This year, President Barack Obama visited Israel for the first time in the second term of his presidency.
Obama’s primary goal was to emphasize the relationship between the countries since, despite the ideal differences of Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel and Obama, to demonstrate that the countries are allies.
“I think that a lot of this was symbolic, to show that alliance is still there,” Dr. Kelly McHugh, assistant professor of political science, said.
It appeared that Obama wanted to show that the relationship between these countries will continue and improve the public opinion.
“I think he got a good reception. A lot of his relays like Obama’s commitment and background,” McHugh said. “In terms of improving U.S. standing I am pretty sure he achieved that. In terms of making any peace or solving any problem, I don’t think so.”
McHugh believes that visiting Israel in terms of symbolism was necessary, but in “transforming the Middle East” it was not the time because Syria and Iran do not want to negotiate
During his visit, Obama talked about the Syrian civil war without discussing any solution, but his administration is aware of the situation.
“In terms of Syria, I don’t think there is anything they discussed that will solve a civil war. They just acknowledged it was important for Israel,” McHugh said.
A nuclear program has also been mentioned. The United States wants to make sure that Israel does not attack Iran
“They are concerned that Israel might use military actions, and the U.S. wants to make sure that they don’t have a military strike against Iran that could make the situation worse,” McHugh said.
According to CNN, the political leaders announced “new talks” about renovating the agreement of U.S. military assistance for 10 more years that will expire in 2017.
“We traditionally have given Israel quite a bit of aid, a lot has to do with historical friendship and support for Israel,” McHugh said.
Since the 1940’s, presidential leaders have tried to find a peace between Israel and Palestine.
Obama is verbally committed to that goal, but the administration has not done too much, according to McHugh.
The United States has been involved in issues regarding the Middle East and may continue doing so because the country has access to oil, an economic interest.
“Even though they are not geographically near us and are not very culturally similar to us, we have a security interest in the resources that are in that region and also making sure that is not completely unstable,” McHugh said.
According to McHugh, if the violence continues and conflict rises in the Middle East, it can trigger economical consequences for U.S.
(Image courtesy of Creative Commons.)