By ELLEN LAIPSON//The conventional truth that US-Israeli relations are solid, sustainable and largely impervious to American partisan differences is mostly correct. But it’s worth considering whether some important shifts in Israel’s foreign-policy priorities will have an impact on its bonds with Washington. Over time, Israel’s leaders may find ties to major Asian countries at least of equal value and at most an acceptable alternative to its long-standing Western orientation.
Two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced during a visit to Singapore a “pivot to Asia,” an amusing echo of the Obama-era pivot that was much maligned and misunderstood. (It was criticized as proof that the Middle East would be abandoned, and for the appearance that it focused more on military cooperation with Asian countries wary of China, rather than a more three-dimensional engagement with the rising powers of the East.) For Israel, the announcement was a rhetorical flourish for a reality that had been evolving over many years.