Fouad Ajami poses this question, looking at it from an Israeli perspective:
Better the peace of autocrats and pharaohs, or the risks and uncertainties of unstable democracies?
And he gives what I think is the right answer to it:
On the surface of things, the fall of the dictators and the tumult that has followed appear to bode ill for Israel. But we should look unflinchingly at the dictatorships' harvest: the major wars fought in the region,and its overall militarization, should offer sobering evidence that the dictators needed and fed [an] endless conflict. Natan Sharansky, with the clarity given him by nine years in the Soviet gulag, has given the linkage between peace and the internal arrangements of Arab societies its most sustained and provocative discussion. With all of Israel's security dilemmas laid out before him, Sharansky would forgo the tyrant's peace for the turbulence of democracies. With Cairo's streets politically aflame, and as the Mubarak dictatorship was on the verge of collapse, in a compelling interview with David Feith in the Wall Street Journal in February 2011, Sharansky rejected the stability offered by autocrats. Theirs is a false gift, he said. They rule and terrorize but increase the hatred toward "America and Israel and the free world." Genuine peace should rest not only on how regimes conduct themselves abroad, but also on their treatment of their own people. No free pass for the tyrants; Sharansky is willing to brave it: The democracy that hates you, he says, is much better than the dictator who loves you.
Israel has no choice but to wait out these rebellions of the Arab Spring. Fundamentally, these are the revolts of Arab populations who have wearied of the waste and fraud of the dictatorships. The rebels know that the anti-Zionism of the dictatorships was an alibi for failure, pure scapegoating. One needn't be as brave as Sharansky to place a wager on these rebellions, to trust people with their history.