The Middle East is not like anything people in the West are used to. The rules and norms are different here. Therefore, the sociological implications that govern the way people live and think here must be dealt with if we want to properly deal with the realities on the ground and make a difference.
Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman of the Jewish community of Hebron, hits it on the nose. The chief emotion and value that matters most in the Middle East is respect. When the Jewish State is run by proud and strong leaders, Arabs begin to respect the Jewish State. When it is run by a waffling leadership that seems to lack a rudder or a spine, then the problems prop up.
But what Yishai says about Arab countries is just as true. Weak Arab leaders who basically do not run their countries effectively also pose a major problem to stability in the Middle East. If a country, like Iraq, is going through constant tumult and changes of leadership, there is no way to have stability. Israel’s bordering countries are Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Not one of them is very stable. Egypt has undergone a major revolution in the last decade and is struggling to not have economic problems stifle it’s attempts to stabilize. Jordan is a country ruled by a friendly dictator, King Hussein, who runs a country that predominantly does not support him. Israel has a peace treaty with them, but always keeps a watchful eye on Jordan because of it’s proximity to unstable Iraq.
Syria has been the scene of a never-ending massive Civil War, where hundreds of thousands of Arabs have killed each other. There is probably no worse example of immoral leadership in the world than Syria’s President Assad. And then – Lebanon. Lebanon has been unstable for so many decades that it is hard to imagine it being anything but unstable. Israel once worked hard to help install a pro-Israel leader, Bashir Gemayel as leader of Lebanon. But he was assassinated right after he was elected. What needs to change in order for their to be peace in the Middle East is the stability of Israel’s Arab neighbors.