While Syria's 40-year Assad regime has fought multiple conflicts with Israel, it has also been a stable neighbor – making Israelis uneasy about the prospects of Islamists gaining power next door.
Can Syria make a transition to democracy without facing the deadly battles now seen in Libya, or the repression in Bahrain? Yes, if enough leaders within Syria show vision and restraint, and if they are open to some outside mediation from South Africa, Turkey, and the US.
At least 12 protesters were reportedly killed today in demonstrations across Syria, where greater instability could alter the balance of power in the Middle East.
Syria is a gateway for Iran's influence in the Middle East, but it has also been a relatively predictable neighbor for Israel. If Assad's regime comes unhinged, that could all change.
Penny, a Lhasa apso, sits backstage at the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.
Political transition in Egypt is generating substantial risks – but also golden opportunities. The Obama administration should take advantage of Israel's and Syria's newfound strategic vulnerability to push for a peace deal.
Outside opposition groups had called for protests in Syria over the weekend. Why did only security forces and hopeful journalists show up?
The decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Ghajar comes more than four years after Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon's militant Shiite Hezbollah ended.
Under a United Nations plan, Israel will reportedly remove its troops from the town of Ghajar on the Lebanese border – and thus remove a bone of contention with Hezbollah.