Dr Eyal Zisser, Israel in a New Middle East

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Date(s) - 06/03/2014
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm



The “Arab Spring” that erupted at the height of last winter (January 2011) has long since metamorphosed into a hot and steamy Middle Eastern “summer.” While in Tunis, Egypt and Libya, and maybe also in Yemen, one can speak about the “end of the beginning” of these revolutions, so it seems, in Syria the uprising has turned into bloody struggles, not to say a civil war, between segments and factions divided for the most part along social or communal lines.

For Israel all this represented a dramatic change that called into question many of the basic assumptions upon which Jerusalem based its policies in the region during recent decades. So it is no wonder that Israel is following the regional developments closely, with both great interest and unconcealed concern. It is also no wonder that a debate had broken out in the Israeli public over whether the regional developments should be viewed as a source of renewed threats to the country or, rather, perhaps a hopeful opening or window of opportunity for improving Israel’s status in the region and even achieving breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, if it knows how to take advantage of the situation.

Thus, Israel and the Arabs find themselves in the face of the same dilemma – looking for peace or maintaining the status qua.