The CIA came under some heavy fire in recent days from policy-makers for missing (completely) the uprising in Egypt. The agency never saw it coming, leaving policy makers to scramble and adjust. Policy makers don’t like to scramble and adjust.Bad as it was in Washington, imagine what it was like in Israel. The Israeli government was almost completely blind-sided by the uprising and subsequent events.
The anchor of Israeli national security policy is the Camp David Accords of 1979, which brought over three decades of peace. More important, it enabled Israel to focus its “defensive” efforts west and north, secure in the knowledge that it would not be attacked from the south.
All of that is out the window now. The neighbourhood just got a whole lot trickier and a whole lot scarier. The effect of this has been to push Israelis to the logical extremes of their views. As The Los Angeles Times reports, hawks are now much more hawkish, doves are much more dovish.
The best thing that Israel could do now is keep quiet and see what develops. But the dynamics of Israeli local politics will probably produce the opposite of silence.
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