In the effort to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the US has not taken a front-line role. Partly, that's President Obama's style, partly it's because of new realities.
As Egypt assumes a central role in efforts to reach a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict – and as a parade of Arab leaders jockey to show solidarity with Hamas – one country appears to be sitting on the diplomatic sidelines: the United States.
Both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton – traveling together in Southeast Asia this week – have made repeated phone calls to leaders in Middle East. They have emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself from rockets launched by militant groups inside Hamas-governed Gaza.