HERZLYIA, ISRAEL– I’m at the 11th annual conference on Israel’s national security at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzlyia, a northern suburb of Tel Aviv. As Israel is both America’s most dependable and strategically important ally in the region, the conference draws an impressive range of foreign policy professionals, commentators and policymakers from the United States and elsewhere. The Herzlyia Conference is a chance, also, to hear Israeli politicians and ministers address the nation’s relationship with the rest of the world. I was intrigued, especially, to take the temperature of the Israeli political class on the event unfolding in Egypt, and what it promises for Israel’s national security considerations. [I’ll present more reports from Israel in the coming days here at Big Peace.]
At the conference, spoke also with Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion in the UK. I asked him about the current revolutions in the Arab world– from Tunisia to Lebanon to Egypt– and what it portends. We discussed the reaction to the anti-regime protests in Egypt by both Western governments and certain conservative commentators who, unfamiliar with the Muslim Brotherhood or its ideology, have taken to cheering on the dissolution of one of America’s regional allies.