New Middle East Runs Into Old Realities [View all]
By Roula Khalaf in London
For the first time since the Arab revolutions a new Middle East is colliding with the old order.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has long defined the region is exploding in another spasm of violence, with the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip looking increasingly like a re-run of past campaigns.
But this time around, the context is different. Traditional actors have new calculations, and each is testing the limits of the other in the wake of Arab revolutionary change.
Over the past two years, Israelís neighbourhood has become more hostile. One player it could count on to contain the Islamist Hamas group, Egyptís Hosni Mubarak, has gone, and another, Jordanís King Abdullah, is under increasing political and economic pressure. Syria too is in the throes of a war that has shattered the calm on the border with Israel and whose outcome will be critical to the new regional status quo.