Larison makes the realist case with his customary bluntness:
Egypt and Jordan can remain at peace with Israel despite the profound unpopularity of this arrangement because the governments are unaccountable and authoritarian. Surely the elections in Gaza should tell us that democratization allows people with deep grievances to vent them by empowering the most extreme and radical elements. This has proved to be ruinous for people in Gaza and far from what Israel wants. Democratization and regional stability are incompatible. If you desire one, you cannot have the other.
I don't buy the argument that in the long run, autocracies are more stable than democracies, even in the Middle East.
Look at Iran. There are enormous risks to over-speedy democratization, especially in the Arab Middle East, but in the long run, democracies, by giving people the ability to vent and protest through nonviolent means are far stabler than the alternative. It's how to get from there to here in a minefield full of ancient grievance and weapons of mass destruction that's the hard part. For that we need leaders of judgment and skill. For the first time in quite a while, we may have some.