Islamist threat is real and growing
Israel sits squarely on the front line of the war by Islamist fanaticism against the West. The Jewish state for decades has been the lone outpost for democratic government and its values in the Middle East. It has also been America’s most trusted and reliable ally in a troubled part of the world.
Those simple truths explain the central position Israel occupies in U.S. foreign policy. That fact is underscored by high-profile visits this month to Israel by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
Though Israelis are accustomed to life under an existential cloud, events of the last couple of years have reminded them and their allies once again that Israelis live in a very dangerous neighborhood.
For all the hope once engendered by the uprisings that are transforming the Arab world, the reality is the growing power of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt. The brotherhood, an Islamist organization that never hid its hostility to Israel and the West, greeted the unexpected Tahrir Square revolution by saying it would not contest the presidency of Egypt. Then Islamist parties, led by the brotherhood and an even more radical Salafi Party, captured 75 percent of the seats in parliamentary elections. Now the brotherhood holds the presidency thanks to the election of Mohammed Morsi. (...)