All by Myself: Israel in the new Middle East
Israel has a unique story and history – yet even as a fledgling state when its birth came about, it knew it depended on others’ support or 'stewardship' to conceive of its Zionist ambition. The forefathers said this, and now it has come to pass. Israel would not have gotten by without a little help from its friends. Whether colonial Britain or superpower US would be the one to nurse and nurture their dream, the Jewish state has always found itself in need of support. But today more than ever, the people of the promised land have been burning bridges with countries - when not bombing bridges in Gaza or Lebanon. Continue reading below »
While it used to complain of being the only democracy in the region, Israel now realizes that sometimes you're at your loneliest when surrounded by 'friends' in democracy. Democratically elected Arabs, as suspected, wear their animmosity, or hostility toward Israel, on their sleeves.
In the past, the US has waded in to fix and patch things up. Americans have always arbitrated or diplomatically 'shuttled' them back into line with their neighbors, who have agreed to a cool to lukewarm tolerance. But now, enter empowered Egypt, playing messenger, maybe Hamas is no longer the pariah. As for the US - still there to talk the talk - it is likely shifting its foreign policy concerns away from the Middle, and to the 'further' East.
Given that the world, as seen at the UN recently, did not cosy up to Israel to outlaw the Palestinian status upgrade from passing, it seemed the Jewish state's popularity was starting to flag. And while old Arab dictators may have displayed a good bit of anti-Israel 'show', they usually kept their threats to words, at a polite distance. Today the Muslim Brotherhood with its big Palestinian heart, flanking Israel from Egypt's halls of power and the Jordan street, may be prepared to challenge Israel's actions vis-a-vis its Arab populations more.
It's hard to carry Israel as a friend when it's actions might harm your interests. The state of Israel recently, in the international limelight at the UN, has displayed a recalcitrant stance, digging its heels in as it constructs more settlements and less of a constructive future with old allies and future partners in peace.
As we revisit the region after Arab revolutions and Palestine's second successful bid for enhanced access to the UN, we see Israel growing more and more isolated in the international arena. Hamas could stand a chance of re-entering the international fold, if it plays its cards right, while Israel is being left out in the cold. Traditional cheer-leaders to the Jewish state may have just started to dis-band and consider defecting to the other side.
Do you think Israel on a path of alienating the world with its obstinate approach to settlement building and evident contempt for world public opinion? Does the Jewish state have allies that will stand by it in time of war? Give us your thoughts on the new Middle East landscape of today.
- The lunacy of Libya: How militiamen are destroying the dream of democracy
- Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Calls Israel's Settlements "Vandalism"
- Oil price eases as all eyes watch the Middle East
- Ahmadinejad: New Middle East soon without Israel and America
- Saudi Paper Warns Israel against New Middle East War