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February 16, 2016 6:16 pm

Wall Street Journal Columnist Says Israel ‘Diversifying Partnerships,’ Joining Sunni States in ‘Disenchanted With America’ Alliance

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Wall Street Journal foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens. Photo: Twitter.

Wall Street Journal foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens. Photo: Twitter.

The United States “not being itself” is what’s new in the Middle East, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens.

Stephens, the Journal’s deputy editorial page editor and a former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief, was describing his recent trip to Israel, where he “spent the better part of a week talking to senior officials, journalists, intellectuals and politicians from across Israel’s political spectrum.”

And though, he said (in his Feb. 15 piece titled “Israel Looks Beyond America”) his conversations about the downward spiral in relations with America were off the record, “[T]he consistent theme is that, while the Jewish state still needs the U.S., especially in the form of military aid, it also needs to diversify its strategic partnerships.”

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Stephens pointed to a new wave of high-level Israeli meetings with Arab and other world leaders as an illustration of what he was told and sensed while in the Holy Land:

On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon publicly shook hands with former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal at the Munich Security Conference. In January, Israeli cabinet member Yuval Steinitz made a trip to Abu Dhabi, where Israel is opening an office at a renewable-energy association. Turkey is patching up ties with Israel. In June, Jerusalem and Riyadh went public with the strategic talks between them. In March, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the Washington Post that he speaks to Mr. Netanyahu “a lot.”

What struck Stephens about this shift was different from the more common response in Israel and abroad about the unlikely bedfellows that Israel and former enemy states made. Rather, he wrote, “This de facto Sunni-Jewish alliance amounts to what might be called the coalition of the disenchanted; states that have lost faith in America’s promises.”

The loss of America’s global standing is but one reason that Stephens has been consistently critical of the Obama administration since its inception. Others abound, such as its constantly being wrong where its predictions in relation to Israel and the Middle East are concerned, according to Stephens.

Stephens concluded: “More than one Israeli official I spoke with recalled that the country managed to survive the years before 1967 without America’s strategic backing, and if necessary it could do so again. Nations that must survive typically do. The more important question is how much credibility the U.S. can afford to squander before the loss becomes irrecoverable.”

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  • By 2039, the US has totally withdrawn from the Middle East after America no longer needs Saudi oil. Who steps in? We all know! China. China needs the Arab energy and steps in to protect the Sunny oil-rich kingdoms from Iran and its Shia tentacles. China’s power brings its allies into coalition, including Israel. Relations between China and Israel have achieved great warmth in the past 10 years. China is in need of Israel’s water and agriculture knowledge. Israel’s Technion is building a campus in Guangdong Province with Shantou University––financed by Li Ka Shing’s Foundation, a Chinese billionaire. Israel becomes China’s Silicon Valley and China has the industry and population to produce and consume Israeli technology and inventions. Later Israel, China, and Saudi Arabia combine to neutralize Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It is all laid out in my book, “2039, 2nd Edition.” Available on Amazon all over the world.

  • By 2039, the US has totally withdrawn from the Middle East after America no longer needs Saudi oil. Who steps in? We all know! China. China needs the Arab energy and steps in to to protect the Sunny oil-rich kingdoms from Iran and its Shia tentacles. China’s power brings its allies into coalition. Relations between China and Israel have achieved great warmth in the past 10 years. China is in need of Israel’s water and agriculture knowledge. Israel’s Technion is building a campus in Guangdong Province with Shantou University––financed by the Li Ka Shing’s Foundation, a Chinese billionaire. Israel will become China’s Silicon Valley and China has the industry and population to produce and consume Israeli technology and inventions. Later Israel, China, and Saudi Arabia combine to neutralise Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It is all laid out in my book, “2039, 2nd Edition.” Available on Amazon all over the world.

  • John Train

    To the editors: thank you for making 10 comments available to me. It is interesting and useful to get the thoughts of your readers. Again, thank you.

  • “Rubio—is he done for?” heard Stephens from the Israelis. But Rubio won the last CBS debate and he is the only reasonable choice between “Sanders—oy vey.” and “Trump—omigod.” who Israelis hope will prevail and take office in 338 days 01 hours and 02 minutes
    Time left until Obama leaves office
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2016/01/time-left-until-obama-leaves-office.html

  • Jonah

    Let me tell you what the end game is. The Harlet according to revelation is destroyed by the ten horns. Those ten horns are kings who are given a kingship for one hour….7 years. The Harlet is functioning under the authority of the little horn. The little horn, as described in Daniel, is the acting commander over a nation he has sworn to destroy…. and I might say he is doing and excellent job of leading it’s people to their complete demise….as described very explicitly in revelation 18.

  • david freilich

    Once a conservative President is elected in the US, it will be back to business as usual…..

  • Israel should rather be a broker of peace and join the Russian Federation. The Saudies are beheading people for no crimes at all.
    Putin will not allow Iran to attack Israel and is the only politician who told Iran to shut up about destroying Israel and invited the Jews of Europe to come to Russia because of all the Anti-Semitism in Europe.

  • Peter Joffe

    Obama hunts with the hounds and runs with the hares but we all know that his religion is Shia Muslim and he will sacrifice all for it. What is most striking is the number of Democrats who think that Obama is the second Muhammad as they plunge the world into an Islamic war.

  • Zg

    Obama the anti American Shiite implent.

  • Good stuff–keep it up. trp

  • Yes, Israel managed to survive without America prior to the 1967 Six-Day War. The U.S. cannot afford to squander anymore credibility, as the loss became irrecoverable. And the next U.S. President will deal with a profound loss of America’s credibility.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    This new phase in Israeli relations with former enemy states is not surprising with the Iran sponsorship of terrorism on the rise and Iran’s great focus now being hegemony over the entire Middle East. In addition, America has all but abandoned the Middle East to its own state of affairs, a move which has forced Israel’s hand to seek the defensive ties which until now had eluded her. I think that Bret Stephens is right when he states the following: “The more important question is how much credibility the U.S. can afford to squander before the loss becomes irrecoverable.”

  • Fred

    America under Obama has abdicated its power & leadership in favour of political correctness that served only to undermine once powerful trusted US. Obama’s Muslim sympathy have weakened US credibility. Pity…

  • Salvador García

    These are a welcome but not surprising news .Sunni and Israeli nations have finally realized that union brings strength . Its just a natural alliance ,hopefully producing more peace and more security for all . ”Internal peace brings external strength”.

  • Ted U.

    This is actually a fascinating bit of reporting.
    If this is accurate it likens Israel to a secret mistress.

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