According to Panetta it’s Israel’s fault Egyptians attacked their embassy in Cairo. It’s Israel’s fault Turkey has gone down the Islamist path. It’s Israel’s fault the Arab Spring is bringing hostile Islamist parties into power.
(AFP) — US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel to try and end its increasing regional “isolation” by repairing diplomatic ties with Egypt and Turkey and renewing peace efforts with the Palestinians.
“Unfortunately, over the past year, we’ve seen Israel’s isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow, and the pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace has effectively been put on hold,” he said.
It was crucial for Israel to reach out and “mend fences” with countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Jordan that he said share an interest in regional stability, said Panetta, who issued similar appeals in a visit to the region in October.
As for Egypt, he said the United States shared Israel’s concerns about security in the Sinai peninsula and over the recent attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
But the best response was to step up “communication and cooperation with Egyptian authorities” instead of “stepping away from them,” he said.
Israel needed “to lean forward on efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians,” Panetta said at an event organized by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for the Middle East, a Washington think-tank.