Syria has recently been courted by the US and has been making encouraging diplomatic noises. But it must also act tough in the eyes of its traditional allies, including Iran. This two-faced strategy is making conflict more likely. However, Israel too is treading a dangerous path if it is publicly exaggerating the threat from Hizbollah. It would open itself to the accusation that it is diverting attention from its settlement expansion in East Jerusalem, and even of paving the way for an assault on Hizbollah and Syria that would limit the potential for retaliation should it decide to attack Iran##s nuclear sites.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama has not found the right tone. His distancing of the US##s interests from Israel##s, in an effort to force a halt to settlement expansion, is riling Jewish interest groups and encouraging Iran and others to ramp up their anti-Israel rhetoric. This is alarming. Washington must focus on diverting Syria from its dangerous course while prodding the Palestinians and Israelis to resume talks as soon as possible.
The Daily Telegraph, editorial