Middle East chaos – the view from Israel
The region’s internecine conflicts are favorable to Israel in the short term, but create serious long-term uncertainties.
At this time, the chaos engulfing most of the Middle East/North Africa region (MENA) is actually favorable to Israel in the short- and perhaps medium-term. Hamas has been humbled for the third time. Hezbollah and Islamic State (IS) are busily killing each other and others. Egypt is effectively collaborating with Israel on security and intelligence matters. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are on the same side as Israel with reference to terrorist groups and the looming Iranian nuclear threat. Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Libya are essentially failed states and exist now only on maps. Turkey is enmeshed in a self-inflicted morass of domestic and regional conundrums with no obvious exits.
Israel is regionally dominant militarily and vibrant economically and technologically. It can do without the support of the European Union (EU) and although political relations with the United States are chilly, defense and security relations continue warm and close. Trade, investment and educational collaboration with the major countries of South Asia and the Far East: India, China, Japan and South Korea, has never been stronger and is increasing steadily. Chronic domestic political and social problems continue to fester, but are not acute.