United Church of God

World News and Trends: The Arab revolution's impact on Israel

You are here

World News and Trends

The Arab revolution's impact on Israel

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


Israeli leaders have voiced their worries about the outcome of the current unrest in the Arab world at large, emphasizing Egypt and Jordan, neighbors which both have formal peace treaties with Israel upholding the state's security. Even more dangerous days for the Jewish state may be on the horizon.

The old fears of Arab encirclement have returned to trouble Israel's leadership. An article about Israel in the February 19, 2011, issue of The Economist was aptly titled "Encircled by Enemies Again?"

The article stated: "Perhaps even more worrying for Israel is a rising fear that on its eastern flank the ruling monarchy in Jordan, the only Arab country bar[ring] Egypt that has a formal treaty with the Jewish state, is being shaken by an assortment of Islamists, tribal leaders, Palestinians (who make up a good half [or much more] of Jordan's people), disgruntled former security men and a middle class irritated by the royal family's perceived extravagance" (Feb. 19, 2011). Also Egyptian troops are back in the Sinai Peninsula after an absence of three decades.

Anshel Pfeffer, who writes on international and military affairs for Israel's daily newspaper Ha'aretz and serves as chief Israeli correspondent for London's Jewish Chronicle, wrote in a special report for London's international Catholic weekly The Tablet: "Israel has lost an ally with the overthrow of Egypt's President Mubarak. Now it is fearful of further instability on its borders if more regimes, such as those in Syria and Jordan, are swept away in the so-called Arab spring" (April 1, 2011).

Iran remains a looming concern in this regard. Pfeffer speculated that Syrian President Bashar Assad's difficulties "may be an opportunity for the fundamentalist regime of Tehran to deepen its hold across the region."

Unrest in Jordan adds to the concern. One Israeli observer remarked, "God forbid that the king [Jordan's Abdullah] falls anytime soon." He continued, "Next year the Americans will pull out their last soldiers from Iraq, which is becoming increasingly Shia-dominated [like Iran], and Iran will have another corridor straight to Israel's border" (ibid.).

In spite of its increased economic strength and success in the marketplace, Israel faces many actual and potential troubles not of its own making. (Sources: The Economist, The Tablet [both London].)