Here are some quotes from Friedman’s latest article in The New York Times on Israel and the Arab spring:
Israel is facing the biggest erosion of its strategic environment since its founding. It is alienated from its longtime ally Turkey. Its archenemy Iran is suspected of developing a nuclear bomb. The two strongest states on its border — Syria and Egypt — are being convulsed by revolutions. The two weakest states on its border — Gaza and Lebanon — are controlled by Hamas and Hezbollah.
It was in this context that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went before the Knesset last Wednesday and argued that the Arab awakening was moving the Arab world “backward” and turning into an “Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave.” Ceding territory to the Palestinians was unwise at such a time, he said: “We can’t know who will end up with any piece of territory we give up.”
Netanyahu added: “In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we’re facing a new era of liberalism and progress. They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don’t see where things are heading.” But, he told the Knesset, events had proved him correct. Netanyahu reportedly said that when he cautioned President Obama and other Western leaders against backing the uprising against Egypt’s then-president, Hosni Mubarak, he was told that he didn’t understand reality: “I ask today, who here didn’t understand reality?”