When George W. Bush entered office, Israel was in the throes of the Second Intifada, but its strategic position within the Middle East was as strong as it has ever been. Israel was at peace with Egypt and Jordan. Its northern borders with Lebanon and Syria were relatively quiet, and more distant foes in Iraq and Iran did not pose an imminent threat.
The perfect storm that has broken over the Middle East since the back-to-back kidnappings by Hamas and Hezbollah was fed by converging developments, developments that might have been manageable individually but which proved disastrous in combination. A look at the conditions that merged to fuel the typhoon offers a sense of just what it will