Russia, China & Israel against Islamism?

Two recent developments – Vladimir Putin’s recent trip to the Middle East and the Chinese government’s financing of an Israeli cargo railway – hint at a reshuffling of alliances in the region.

The Middle East’s most consequential divide is no longer the Arab/Israeli one but the Islamist/non-Islamist one, with Iran in one corner, Israel in the other, and other states somewhere between. It’s far from a linear alignment, with plenty of incongruities; the revolutionary Islamists in Tehran and the evolutionary ones in Ankara, for example, increasingly are at odds, while the Tehran-Damascus axis flourishes as never before.