But despite the show of friendship, tectonic plates are shifting in the region and the U.S. now has more options than relying on a country that -- despite modest reforms under the late King Abdullah and close security ties with Washington -- is still a prime source of the radical intolerance that inspires many anti-Western terrorist groups.
In December, however, an anti-trust challenge arose in Israel that may delay the development of the Leviathan gas field, the largest in the region; delay progress on proposed gas supply projects from Israel to its neighbors, including Jordan and Egypt; and threaten the security of Israel’s supply. This anti-trust challenge is ill-founded.
On Sunday, a helicopter gunship operating in Syria near the border with Israel killed the son of Hezbollah's former military commander, an Iranian general and five other members of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group long supported by Iran.
• Boko Haram continues to terrorize northeastern Nigeria; the group has been responsible for the deaths of more than 10,000 Nigerians last year, and according to some Nigerian officials, the group currently controls as much as 70 percent of Borno as well as parts of neighboring states—an area close to the size of West Virginia
Judging from the more than one million people who gathered in Paris - and others in smaller rallies in Europe and in Washington, D.C. -- the murder of 17 journalists, police and shoppers in a Jewish market by three terrorists claiming to be avenging insults to Islam has brought together ordinary people from many religions and ethnic groups in an emphatic rejection of violence and intolerance.
Economics Have Stalled Putin, But He Often Answers Reversals with Military Threats
In the Ukraine crisis, soft economic power last month trumped hard military power for the first time. The threatened meltdown of the Russian economy could push Russian President Vladimir Putin to dial down his undeclared war on Ukraine in return for some easing of Western financial sanctions. Still, that is not assured.
Today's shocking attack in Paris underlines the threat that terrorist fanatics pose to civilized society everywhere.
But on the battlefronts of Iraq, IS has lost its edge. Iraqi Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airpower, have now retaken virtually all the territory they lost to the group over the summer, according to Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the department of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).