The leaders of the USA and Israel have met again at the White House, for the 16th time. This time Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu were able to overcome their personal animosity and differences over Iran policy in order to have a cooperative and fruitful meeting. The Iran agreement has been ratified by the Congress and so opposition to it in the US is pointless now. Basically Obama won, so he can afford to be magnanimous and Netanyahu has had to accept a fait accompli.
But, Obama has been very unsuccessful in foreign policy, in particular the security situation in the Middle East has deteriorated. And specifically what is called the “peace process” between the Palestinians and Israel has reached a stalemate. Obama knows that it is the Palestinians who are blocking any progress, even though he can’t say so publicly. So he has given up on the “two-state solution” for the rest of his term. This is certainly good news to Netanyahu, since Israel is usually the one that has received all the pressure from the Obama Administration.
The US has officially stated that Israel should be compensated for the Iran deal, given that if Iran does break its commitments, as it seems already to be doing, and goes ahead and develops a nuclear weapon, then Israel will be in deep trouble. Both leaders affirmed their policy that Iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. After negotiations, Israel and the US agreed on an enhanced defense package that will cost the US reportedly ca. b$50 over 10 years. This is indeed a strong commitment and as Obama, said, “Israel’s security is one of my top objectives.”
Now that the Russians are meddling in the Middle East and that Assad doesn’t seem likely to be toppled soon and that both Iran and IS are on the advance, the US needs a good ally in the region and Israel is the only one they can bet on. So its back again to a mutually beneficial relationship. Thank goodness for that, until the next spat.