The Middle East, according to all available logic, is a mess. The Arabs are ridden with hatred and infused with a burning desire to destroy - firstly us, then everyone else. The entire history of Islam is a story of conquest and subjugation. Even in its heyday, Islamic civilization was not one we'd like to copy. Moslems living as a minority in Western society are admittedly more "Western" and share more of our Western values. A few (very few) are even outspoken against the brutal, "fundamentalist", anti-Western theology of their brethren. But the vast majority of Moslems, even in the West, have imbibed and are loyal to basic Koranic values. At best, they are passive supporters of fundamentalist Islam and the eventual (if not sooner) disappearance (read: destruction) of Israel; at worst, they are vocal (or active) supporters of their suicidal brethren and their ideology.
This is not to say there aren't Moslems who are "good" people; obviously there are. But Moslem culture, values, outlook, around the world, is warlike, violent, undemocratic, with a set of rules and values which Judeo-Christian culture cannot countenance. Read the newspapers and see for yourselves; or try the Koran - not the nice, humane parts which were copied from our Torah, but the parts which give voice to Mohammed's despotic, domineering philosophy.
The West is not going to change these values or this culture, held by half the world's population, and the sooner it recognizes this, the sooner it can get down to the business of defending itself. Moslem countries and Moslem minorities in countries around the world are feeling their oats and will not remain passive observers of the world scene as long as they can hope to conquer, subdue and prevail. If the cold-war vs. communism was the last big, global issue, Islam is the next. Western democracies are definitely at a disadvantage in this battle because Islam plays by a different set of rules.
Democratic and humane Israel is at an even greater disadvantage because the world's latent but eternal anti-semitism figures into every equation. And, being a truly democratic, highly independent, stiff necked people, Jews find it difficult to come to a working consensus until the last possible moment. Which vastly complicates the running of the Jewish state. Of course even in the U.S., Bush and the State Dept. often promulgate different messages, but here it's even worse. Although the vast majority of Jews in Israel (except for our permanently benighted Left) have no doubts that the surrounding Arab nations are bent on our destruction, our government still hems and haws, hampered by worries of world opinion, by our own Left, the Arab vote and our own confusion as to the best road to take.
For fifty long and bloody years, we hoped against hope that if we only do this or that, if only we give up this piece of land or that principle, if only we help, support, supply the Arabs with technology, water, electricity, hospitals; if only we pull back, keep quiet, smile, look nice, dismantle Jewish settlements, dismantle Jewish borders, allow Arab refugees to return, the Arabs will learn to like us. (I think there is some genetic disorder in the makeup of the Jewish people which prevents it from acknowledging the existence of raw hatred and pure evil. ) This was the Israeli dream - before Oslo.
Now that hope has pretty much disappeared. Now many Israeli's are saying, "Forget about peace. Just leave us alone. Build a wall, a fence, separate the Arabs and the Jews and let us live our lives."