When I was 11, like many Floridians, I got to experience my first hurricane. It wasn’t much of a hurricane and we really weren’t frightened of it. My dog actually wanted to spend time in the driving rain (dogs are weird). We were unlucky to be in the path of the worst of the storm, but that also meant that the eye of the storm passed directly over my house. The rain stopped, the sun got brighter (it never completely emerged from the clouds), and for the first time in hours things were quiet. It was unnerving, especially when I remembered that another half of the storm was on its way. That’s the situation Israel is in now.
Israel is in a unique situation, because it is the avowed enemy of so many in the Middle East, but it is the only country not tearing itself to pieces. Sure, Israel is facing social issues, but they’re the kind of thing that democracies regularly weather. Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, and Tunisia are all struggling with factionalism. Syria is about to fly apart. Egypt has lost control of the Sinai despite deploying thousands of soldiers. It would not surprise me to see Lebanon follow suit. The Palestinians are struggling to do anything. In the midst of this is Israel, comparatively quiet and calm.
We can’t forget that Israel is in the eye of the storm, but the storm will pass. It will bring with it more war. I expect to see Israel forced to pick and choose among various factions. To counteract Hezbollah in Lebanon Israel may turn to the resurgent Falangists. Any tribes in the Sinai that offer the possibility of peace will get Israeli support. This is necessary if Israel is to survive. For a period of time she will have bloody borders, but when all is said and done she will survive. And she may stand alone as the only country that remains intact from the Arab Spring. Imagine what it will say to the world when they see dictatorships and religious fanatics fall, but the region’s sole democracy standing tall.