Saturday, August 20, 2011

Israel's Overconfidence is Being Challenged

One thing that has surprised me about the Arab Spring is the seeming confidence of Israelis that this upheaval will leave them unscathed.

No matter what the particular circumstances of any given country, when one’s neighbors are experiencing long-lasting revolts, one cannot expect to remain unaffected.  In the case of Israel, the odds of the Arab street, which has long sided with the occupied Palestinians, becoming more involved in their cause as their rulers are deposed, are overwhelming.

Israel has borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. It has peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. But the area known as the Sheba Farms in northern Israel is considered as occupied territory by Syria, and Syria, backed by Iran, has long been considered by the Arab opposition as a ‘frontline state’ in its historical opposition to Israel.That is why the West is treading cautiously when it comes to the uprising against Bashar el-Assad.

Until the fall of MPresident Hosni Mubarak, Egypt and Israel had been at peace for thirty years. When the uprising against Mubarak began, Israel defended him, knowing that his ouster could allow ordinary Egyptians more say in the two countries’ relations. Now those fears have been realized: Egypt today recalled its Ambassador to Tel Aviv after Israeli soldiers, in pursuit of Palestinian terrorists, crossed into Egypt, killing five policemen. The incident is eeril similar to the one last year in which nine Turkish activists on a boat bound for Gaza were killed by Israeli soldiers rappelling onto the deck in international waters.  Relations with Turkey have been tense ever since.

A protester outside the Israeli Ebassy inCairo was auoted by the BBC as declaring:

"Israel is only interested in a subservient Egypt, not a free Egypt. By protesting outside the embassy we're sending them a clear message. This is not Mubarak's Egypt anymore. If you kill our soldiers, there will be consequences."

The BBC story continues: “On Friday, in Egypt's second city, Alexandria, a protester managed to take down the Israeli flag from the consulate there and replaced it with Egyptian and Palestinian flags.”

Read the whole report at: /





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