In a Changed World, Declining Democratic Support Might Be One of Israel’s Greatest Challenges

August 5, 2021 | Yaakov Amidror
About the author: Yaakov Amidror is a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, and a Distinguish Fellow of JINSA’s  Gemunder Strategic Center, Washington DC. He served as national security advisor to the prime minister of Israel and the head of the National Security Council from 2011 to 2013.

Surveying the geopolitical changes that have swept the world, and the Middle East, in the last several decades, Yaakov Amidror takes stock of what they mean for the Jewish state. Among the most important developments he points to are the rise of China, the return of Russia to the Levant, and the evolution of the Internet and cyberwarfare—the last of which poses an array of new threats to any advanced country’s wellbeing. And then there is the collapse of some Arab states, coupled with the retreat of the U.S. from the Middle East:

The two Muslim non-Arab countries—Iran and Turkey, central to the history of the region and to the present power struggle—are now trying to make use of the regional vacuum and to advance their national interests and the ideologies to which their leaders adhere. Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan promotes the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, with an added layer of revived Ottoman pretensions, which had vanished since the aftermath of World War I. . . . As for the Arabs, they detest the Ottoman dream—and the Turks—and while they admire the Persians and their ancient culture, they also fear their power.

In the face of Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region and obtain nuclear weapons, and Turkey’s attempts to extend its authority from the Caucasus to Libya, the Arabs have no good answers. There is no acceptable Sunni Arab leadership and no Arab state leads the pack. All this comes against the background of a gradual American retreat from the region. When the leaders of the Arab states look around, they see no steady anchor to latch onto.

Amidror identifies a single threat to Israel on par with that from the Islamic Republic, namely:

the erosion [in America] of traditional bipartisan support for Israel, which U.S. Jewry had been able to secure in the wake of World War II and up until the presidency of Barack Obama. This may well be the result of an inevitable historical trajectory. . . .

At the end of the day, only a militarily strong Israel, ready to preserve [its historic] national defense doctrine . . . of defending itself by itself against any coalition of enemies—can sustain its regional position and thus retain its attraction as a partner to other significant international players.

Read more on Jerusalem Strategic Tribune: