One of the very few positive outcomes of the regional crises engulfing the Middle East is that a number of Arab states are beginning to realize that Israel is not the true enemy.
“For the first time in Israel’s existence, there is an understanding in the Arab world, that Israel is not the enemy of the Arabs. On many issues, we are united,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session earlier this week.
Netanyahu noted that the hijacking of pro-democracy revolutions in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere had turned many of the Arab states against the same Islamist regimes and groups that most threaten Israel.
“Many nations in the area have a strong desire to eliminate the influence of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaida,” the prime minister said. “This is an important development, even historic.”
An unnamed government source later revealed to Israel’s Ynet news portal that Netanyahu’s remarks were not just flowery rhetoric, but a veiled announcement that Israel and several Arab states, some of which have no official diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, are now actively cooperating on various fronts.
With America increasingly seen as an unreliable ally, Arab states are looking for a strong anchor nation with which they can coordinate their own battles against Islamic extremism and Iranian hegemony.
Many have found that ally in Israel, even if the bulk of the unprecedented cooperation must happen in secret.