When trying to solve a mystery and determine who was responsible for a particular act or incident, the first question to ask is cui bono - who benefits? The question is much beloved by conspiracy theorists, of course.
Victor Davis Hanson points out in an insightfully essay titled "The Israeli Spring," that the big beneficiaries of the Arab Spring have to be the Israelis:
In terms of realpolitik, anti-Israeli authoritarians are fighting to the death against anti-Israeli insurgents and terrorists. Each is doing more damage to the other than Israel ever could - and in an unprecedented, grotesque fashion. Who now is gassing Arab innocents? Shooting Arab civilians in the streets? Rounding up and executing Arab civilians? Blowing up Arab houses? Answer: either Arab dictators or radical Islamists.
The old nexus of radical Islamic terror of the last three decades is unraveling. With a wink and a nod, Arab dictatorships routinely subsidized Islamic terrorists to divert popular anger away from their own failures to the West or Israel. In the deal, terrorists got money and sanctuary. The Arab Street blamed others for their own government-inflicted miseries. And thieving authoritarians posed as Islam's popular champions.
But now, terrorists have turned on their dictator sponsors. And even the most ardent Middle East conspiracy theorists are having troubling blaming the United States and Israel. (snip)
The oil-rich sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf once funded terrorists on the West Bank, but they are now fueling the secular military in Egypt. In Syria they are searching to find some third alternative to Assad's Alawite regime and its al-Qaeda enemies. For the moment, oddly, the Middle East foreign policy of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the other oil monarchies dovetails with Israel's: Predictable Sunni-Arab nationalism is preferable to one-vote, one-time Islamist radicals.
Forces may be realigning:
What do the Egyptian military, the French in Mali, Americans at home, the Russians, the Gulf monarchies, persecuted Middle Eastern Christians, and the reformers of the Arab Spring all have in common? Like Israel, they are all fighting Islamic-inspired fanaticism. And most of them, like Israel, are opposed to the idea of a nuclear Iran.
Now think about the Arab world, where theories about the Zionists endlessly running conspiracies to keep the Muslims down are widely believed. How else could Alllah's will and a billion Muslims be thwarted byt a few million Jews?
Obviously, Israel and the Jews must be responsible for the Arab Spring. So the question now becomes who were the Zionist agents and who were the dupes? But once you follow this logic, anyone who starts pointing fingers could in fact be a Zionist agent, because after all it is the Zionists who are benefitting from this strife.
This conundrum could make heads explode all over the Arab world without firing a single cruise missile.