The Arab world may be in turmoil, but its leaders actually need an enduring peace—now in Gaza and long-term with Israel—because regimes across the region are vulnerable as never before.
Whether they like it or not, that’s true for newly elected Islamists. And old-order autocrats need resolution to prevent protests at home from turning against them.
The challenge for Washington is taking advantage of the vulnerability to work with the new political roster — including players it doesn’t know all that well. The tectonic political shift over the past two years offers a dynamic opportunity.
Committed U.S. diplomacy could not only spur meaningful movement on the 64-year conflict. It could enhance Israel’s security and prevent a whole new type of tension with the region’s new governments.
The potential is visible in budding relations between President Barack Obama and Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who has evolved since June from an unknown engineering professor to the most powerful Arab leader. They’ve talked often during the crisis. Mursi is now brokering what happens next.