Toppling of Arab leaders is dangerous for Israel

Are we supposed to cheer because rebels apparently have freed Libya from its longtime dictator, Moammar Gadhafi?

Should we be pleased that President Barack Obama has called for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar Assad?

The Arab Spring of 2011 started with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, and may not end until the president of Yemen and leaders of other Arab nations are toppled.

It’s all happening in the name of “democracy.” But what does the Arab world know about democracy? Ultimately, more Arabs may be able to vote in legitimate elections. But those elections may be won by hardline religious factions, many analysts say.

While such change may give Arab citizenry improved civil rights, it doesn’t bode well for Israel. Unfortunately, Israel built its relationship with the dictatorial leaders now being overthrown.

It wasn’t just Israel doing business like this. The United States also is at fault. A prime example was our backing of former Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. And how many years did we close our eyes to the tyranny of Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

But Israel is in far more danger now that these current dictators are being overthrown. The people in most Arab nations are anti-Israel. Their leaders worked with Israel only because doing so meant financial aid from the West, especially from the United States. But cooperation between Arab states and Israel barely progressed.

Earlier this week, we had a glimpse of the anti-Israel feelings on the Arab street. Egyptian authorities threatened to recall their ambassador unless the Israeli government apologized for the accidental death of three Egyptian soldiers. The soldiers were killed last week when Israel was battling terrorists on the border.

Over the weekend, throngs of Egyptians protested outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, calling for an end to diplomatic relations.

Israel ultimately apologized, and all is well. Or is it?

The Arab Spring isn’t over yet, but already we have good reason to worry what’s to come in the Arab Fall and Arab Winter. n