Israel’s continuing attacks on Hillary Rodham Clinton, will not get to choose the world they inherit Jan. 20.serve as a reminder that and his nominee to be secretary of state,
The incoming administration had planned to focus on the Iraq and in its early months — but the Israeli assault on may have instantly changed that calculus.and recalibrating U.S. policy in
“For all the talk of putting the [Middle East] conflict on the back burner, it’s going force itself onto the front burner,” said Daniel Levy, a fellow at the New America Institute. Levy said that if the conflict in Gaza is still ongoing when Obama takes office, he will face regional and international pressure to broker a settlement.
“It could involve the administration very early,” Levy said.
Obama’s views on the Israeli action remain opaque. Even as the attack continued into its third day Monday, with a Palestinian death toll topping 300 and Israel threatening a ground invasion, Obama had yet to say a word about the crisis, on the grounds that President George W. Bush (who has also been silent) must take the lead.
There were growing signs Monday that the air strikes — which came in response to increased rocket fire from Gaza, which is governed by Hamas — could be accompanied by a ground incursion. Israel’s leaders signaled that this could be an extended conflict, while emphatically denying any intention of reoccupying the independently governed territory.
Though both sides in the David Axelrod on “Face the Nation” Sunday calling Israel a “great ally” and citing America’s “special relationship” with the Jewish state.are intensely aware that this battle will establish facts on the ground in the region for the new administration, Obama’s advisers have sent only vague signals, with