The Arab Spring’s Unlikely Winner

PARIS – The war in Iraq – which led in 2003 to the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime – had one clear winner: Iran. The United States-led military intervention resulted in the weakening of the Middle East’s Sunni regimes, America’s traditional allies, and the strengthening of America’s principal foe in the region, the Islamic Republic.

Ten years later, we may be witnessing yet another ironic outcome in the region: At least for the time being, Israel seems to be the only clear winner of the “Arab Spring” revolutions.

Most Israelis would strongly object to this interpretation. Their regional environment has become much more unstable and unpredictable. Only a few days ago, Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted a rocket fired from Sinai that was aimed at the port of Eilat.

In contrast to the past, no Israeli border is now secure, especially the long frontier with Egypt. No implicit alliance can be taken for granted. All scenarios are open. Can Israel remain an oasis of stability, security, modernity, and economic growth in such a volatile environment?