Israel keeps the peace? That may seem jarring since when Israel gets in the news—as in the current operation against Hamas terror in Gaza—it’s usually in connection to violence.

But in reality, as a democratic, Western-aligned country and the Middle East’s preeminent military power, Israel has done much over the decades to keep the region from being worse than it is. Israel has used its might—sometimes openly, sometimes discreetly—not only to safeguard its own interests but also those of the West and the more moderate Arab states.