Skip to main content

Israel Needs 'Neutral Bunker' Policy

In the face of recent turmoil and intense violence in the Middle East, the best choice for Israel is to stay out of the conflicts — or more precisely, be neutral.
An Israeli soldier sits atop a tank near the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria, on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights July 3, 2013. Israel is bolstering its forces on the once-quiet frontier with Syria where it believes Lebanese Hezbollah militants are preparing for the day when they could fight Israel. Picture taken July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (MILITARY POLITICS) - RTX11IMD
Read in 

For more than two years, Israel has found itself in the eye of a storm. This is not to say that Israel has been at the center of events. Quite the contrary — the eye of the storm is a very quiet place. Israel has been eerily quiet. As Israelis look left and right, north and south, east and west, all they see is a tornado of chaos, massacres, instability, political and economic collapse, sectarian violence, gang rapes, religious fanaticism and civil wars. Yet, miraculously, amidst all this, Israel is stable, calm, democratic and prosperous.

The Post-World War I Order that shaped the Middle East for the past century is unraveling violently. The dark forces of hatred between sects, tribes, religions and classes that had been suppressed by sultans, kings and dictators have risen to the surface. If history is any guide, it will be decades or even centuries before these forces play themselves out. And if the French revolution is anything to go by, Egypt will see the high ideals of the initial days of its revolution realized in a century or two — not earlier.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.