There was an interesting piece on the New York Times
website a few days ago headlined
“Israel’s Secret Arab Allies.” It was by Neri Zilber, a journalist based in Tel Aviv and an adjunct fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Zilber ties together a series of under-the-radar Israeli-Arab breakthroughs which in the aggregate have been one of the greatest achievements to have occurred during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s past eight years in office.
“Across the Middle East these days, often away from the headlines, Israel finds itself deeply involved in Arab wars,” Zilber writes, highlighting a series of military, diplomatic and humanitarian endeavors that have provided support to Arab states and populations that in the past had rejected Israel.
A common fear of Iran and ISIS has been a major catalyst for this realignment along with the Arabs recognizing what Israel’s technological knowhow and military capability could offer them. In every instance, Israel’s involvement — whether it be with Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians, victims of the Syrian conflict, Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States — has benefited the United States and enhanced America’s influence in the region.
Supporting Israel and educating about the importance of a strong US-Israel relationship are top goals of the Birmingham Jewish Federation. This beyond-the-headlines New York Times analysis illustrates the creativity and prowess of this tiny Middle East democracy and how it’s a beacon of stability and reliability in the turbulent Middle East.
Unfortunately, these new relationships are stemming from conflict, instability and war. And where they will lead is uncertain. Nonetheless these developments have strengthened Israel’s standing and acceptance in the Arab world.
“Taken as a whole, Israeli activities in Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Egypt and the Gulf can no longer be viewed in isolation from one another,” the article concludes. “Rather, Israel is now involved in the Arab world’s military campaigns — against both Iran and its proxies, as well as against the Islamic State. It remains to be seen whether this is merely a temporary marriage of convenience against common foes or the start of an enduring strategic realignment.”
— Richard Friedman, Executive Director