pular uprisings continue to spread across the Middle East and North Africa, Israel is feeling ever more isolated and abandoned. Government ministers aren’t panicked yet, but you need only look around the map to understand the fear. The Economist has a good overview:The Egyptian upset is heightening a sense of encirclement that has not been felt so acutely by Israelis in decades. In Lebanon to the north, a pro-Western prime minister has recently been displaced by one backed by Hizbullah, the Shia party-cum-militia that is armed and sponsored by Iran. To the north-east, Syria, also on friendly terms with Iran, seems resolute in its support for Hamas. Meanwhile Iran itself, Israel’s biggest bugbear in the wider region and governed by a mercurial president fired with righteous anger towards Israel, moves steadily towards getting a nuclear weapon.
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 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 of Jordan’s people), disgruntled former security men and a middle class irritated by the royal family’s perceived extravagance.
There’s not much Israel can really do at the moment to address the fears of its citizens. But inevitably, the question of pre-emptive action against one or more of its most threatening neighbours will work its way into the public discourse.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.