Horst Pleiner


In this paper the common expression “Arabian Springtime” summarizes the evolutionary or revolutionary developments which so far have aimed at a change of political conditions, beginning in Tunisia and Egypt and now going on in Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Syria. With full awareness we refrain from quoting the establishment of Western-style democracy as being the object of this movement, because on closer inspection one will find out that the existing approaches in this direction must not be overrated. The emphasis of these ways towards direct democracy, which can be detected in German-language media, are probably based on an overrating of events which reflect the real scene only superficially. This fact already represents a considerable problem: the varying perception of the events of a still uncompleted process, which was initiated by the Arabian Springtime”, in Europe, in Austria, and in the affected countries. The range of security-political consequences of the “Arabian Springtime” is considerable and depends on whether moderate or radical groups will prevail. The consequences become obvious in the political and economic situation in the affected countries, as far as their stability and reliability as economic partners are concerned. Moreover, however, there will be more migration of the discontented from these countries if it is not possible to create appropriate conditions there. A greater permeability in this region for migration to Europe will presumably result in further security-political challenges. A possible further destabilization of the relationship between Israel and its environment represents another range of problems. An aggravation of the perhaps only idealistic confrontation might lead to an aggravation of terrorism, and in future the offenders will not have to enter the country first, but will be on the spot already and thus more and more difficult to detect. So one cannot rule out an increase of the tendency to aggravate the policing state with all its expectable positive and negative side effects. Finally, the Iranian nuclear and missile program is an additional complex of problems, reflected by the multilayered behaviour of Iran on the one hand, and by the support of useful forces in the countries of the “Arabian Springtime”. What serves the interests of Iran and strengthens Anti-Americanism is being fostered, and thus Iran tries to reach the objectives via destabilization. A potential threat to Israel already has been sufficient for Israel to think aloud about its elimination by force. At the same time it does not matter any longer whether Iran really works at developing nuclear warheads and missiles with a range of up to 10.000 km. Among other things, the “Arabian Springtime” must be seen against the backdrop of the persistent nuclear conflict with Iran, as a starting point of significant future decisions in a wider context.