After taking office, Obama took linkage to a whole new level. In an appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he was asked if reining in Iran’s nuclear ambitions was a necessary precursor to reviving the peace process. “If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way,” he replied. “To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians — between the Palestinians and the Israelis — then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat.”

There is no point in dwelling on Obama’s Middle Eastern missteps. But even after turning Iraq over to the tender mercies of the Islamic State, embracing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, poisoning relations with Saudi Arabia, and stepping back from his Red Line to watch Syria disintegrate, he continued to imply that only Netanyahu’s stubbornness foiled his “overarching strategy.”

I doubt anyone would say that Trump is smarter than Carter or Obama. But he is far more realistic than either. He understands that there is no “Arab World” pining for justice, just a region of sovereign nations pursuing what they regard as their self-interest. As the new strategy says, the Arab states “have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.”