The chill in Israel’s relationship with Turkey adds to the dangers of instability in Egypt, Libya and Syria. Netanyahu has responded by seeking new allies, including:
● A “Balkan arc” anchored by newly closer relations with Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania. Some of those countries allow the Israeli air force to train in their airspace, providing an alternative to the now-unfriendly skies over Turkey.
● An implicit, if unspoken, alliance with Saudi Arabia and other gulf states against Iran and against Muslim Brotherhood extremism. In this silent courtship, the Israelis are offering an alternative to an America that’s no longer seen as a reliable protector of the conservative gulf regimes.
● New links with governments in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Kenya, Uganda and the Ivory Coast, which are worried that the rise of militant Islam in North Africa will spread south.
Israeli leaders know these new friendships, however useful, won’t alter the basic threat posed by an Arab awakening that, in most countries, has empowered militant Islamic groups.