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By: Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh.


After 76 years since its establishment, has Israel reached its peak, with weakening factors starting to outweigh those of ascent, and has it approached a “critical point,” where the downward forces match (or surpass) the upward momentum, signaling a potential decline?!!

The Zenith and Erosion Phenomenon

The zenith and erosion (Al-Takamul wa al-Ta’akul) phenomenon is a widely recognized phenomenon in the course of history and the course of life. No nation or authority can sustain perpetual ascension, nor remain indefinitely at the zenith. This cyclic process is inherent in the evolution of civilizations and states, representing one of the enduring patterns in the tapestry of human development.

The general meaning of this phenomenon can be found in the Islamic understanding as expressed in the Qur’anic verse, “And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people,” Surat Al Imran (The Family of Imran): 140,… and in the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (SAW)…: “It is Allah’s Law that He brings down whatever rises high in the world.” Narrated by Bukhari…

The fall of states and civilizations is often hastened by the spread of injustice and corruption, as indicated in the verse… “And those cities – We destroyed them when they wronged,” Surat al-Kahf (The Cave): 59…

The decline is also precipitated by the phenomenon of opulence and opulent individuals,… which usually emerges later in a country’s development, after the stages of establishment and advancement.

The phenomenon of zenith and erosion is only briefly mentioned here to fit the length of this article.

It appears that Israel has reached the peak of its power and tyranny, and now signs of decay are beginning to set in.

The Zenith:

Israel has succeeded in gathering about 45% of the world’s Jews, with the number of Jews in historic Palestine reaching approximately 7.1 million in 2022.

Israel has established itself as a “state above the law” through significant global influence and powerful lobbies in major countries’ decision-making processes. It has ignored more than 900 United Nations (UN) resolutions against it, relying on the US veto to block any actions or positions that could affect it.

Israel has reached an advanced economic level, achieving a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about $525 billion in 2022, according to estimates by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

The annual GDP per capita reached $55 thousand, mirroring income levels in Western Europe. Israel stood out in the leadership of the high-tech industry and secured a global position for itself.

Israel has emerged as the strongest military power in the region, armed with over 200 nuclear bombs and weapons of mass destruction. It has assumed the role of the region’s policeman, seeking to impose the Israeli-US agenda.

Israel was able to exploit the “peace process” to its advantage, stabilizing its control, confiscating more land and holy sites, and establishing a Palestinian Authority (PA) that serves its security interests while oppressing its own people.

Israel has achieved a significant breakthrough in regional normalization, focusing on “peace for peace” rather than “land for peace.” It successfully fostered “normalization” with official Arab and Muslim countries that also counter resistance movements and reformist Islamic ideologies.

In recent years, Israel has been exhibiting a more pronounced and fervent Jewish identity, led by a government displaying extremist religious and nationalist tendencies. This shift is accompanied by an increased sense of arrogance and superiority, alongside a relentless pursuit of total control over the land and the closure of the Palestine issue.

Risks and Threats (Erosion):

On the other hand, Israel faces real risks and threats:

Palestinians continue to maintain a strong presence in their homeland. By 2022, their population surpassed that of Jews in historic Palestine (The 1948 occupied territories, West Bank (WB) and the Gaza Strip (GS)), by 40 thousand, totaling 7.13 million. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the Palestinian population is projected to exceed that of Jews by 450 thousand by 2030 (Although we do not anticipate the trajectory of population growth to remain the same, given the escalation of the conflict).

The resistance within Palestine, spanning WB and GS, as well as beyond its borders, has notably intensified, emerging as a significant strategic challenge, particularly following Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. This surge in resistance has garnered increased support from the Palestinian people, who have grown disillusioned with the PA and its leadership, who continue to play functional roles that serve the occupation more than their own people.

Furthermore, the peace process has lost its allure and effectiveness, making it unsuitable for further negotiations with the Palestinians. It also no longer serves as a guise for Israel to advance its normalization efforts in the region. Israel has failed to become a normal entity in the region, with the vast majority of Arab and Muslim peoples still regarding it as an enemy. Normalization efforts remain superficial, limited to official regimes.

The strategic landscape, particularly surrounding Israel, remains volatile, undergoing continual shifts and realignments. This suggests an impending wave of unrest potentially more intense, violent and disruptive than the previous Arab Spring.

The Israeli society faces escalating internal conflicts stemming from ethnic and nationalist tensions, alongside a rise in discord between religious and nationalist factions.

The Israeli society grappling with the impacts of globalization, a more relaxed lifestyle, pursuit of luxury, the desire to enjoy life, the spread of homosexuality, evasion of military conscription and a decline in the quality of Israeli soldiers and their combat capabilities.

The Israeli society lacks the caliber of leadership that once spearheaded the establishment and advancement of Israel in its early decades.

Furthermore, Israel is gradually transitioning from being perceived as a strategic asset to becoming a burden on the US and the Western powers supporting it. This shift is evident as its regime’s arrogance and costs rise, its brutality becomes more apparent, its international isolation intensifies and its support dwindles.

A Tug-of-War Leading to a Downward Spiral:

This indicates that Israel is caught in a tug-of-war between its strengths and the escalating risks and threats. It can no longer ascend further, as the downward pull grows stronger. Signs of decline are likely to emerge soon.

Operation al-Aqsa Flood has profoundly unsettled the Israeli establishment, challenging its security doctrine and undermining the notion of a secure haven for Jews upon which the Zionist project was built. It has dealt a blow to the concept of Israel as the Western world’s advanced stronghold and the region’s police force, impacting its economy and disrupting the foundations of the normalization process and its justifications. The operation has demonstrated that defeating Israel is a viable and practical idea, not an insurmountable one. It has revealed that Israel’s perceived strength and dominance are not as substantial as they may seem, particularly when compared to the perceptions ingrained in Arab, Muslim and even global consciousness. The root of the power imbalance in these nations stems from the shortcomings of the official Arab and Muslim countries’ regimes.

This may explain the immense brutality witnessed in the Israeli army offensive on GS, alongside statements from Israeli leaders framing this conflict as a pivotal “independence” struggle for Israel, aimed at reclaiming lost or diminished prestige. The resilience of the resistance in GS and Israel’s failure to achieve its objectives mark a significant historical juncture. Consequently, Israeli leaders themselves have cautioned that failure to crush Hamas and neutralize GS as a perceived threat would signal the initiation of a countdown towards Israel’s decline, with bleak prospects for its future in the Middle East.

In conclusion, Israel has exhausted its capacity for ascension and is now grappling to avoid descending into decline. However, it is observing a gradual decline, initially subtle but potentially accelerating in the medium to long term.

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 27/5/2024

The opinions expressed in all the publications and studies are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of al-Zaytouna Centre.

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