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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Whose side should Israel be on in Syria?

Jonathan Spyer summarizes the policy debate in Israel over which side - if either - we should take in Syria.
Yet the Israeli professional echelon remains divided in its overall assessment of the war in Syria. In the public debate, both former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin and former Mossad head Meir Dagan have suggested that the preferred outcome of the war for Israel would be the defeat of Assad and the resultant heavy blow to the Iranians that it would deal.
Dagan said recently that Israel should “do whatever it can to make sure that Syrian President Bashar Assad is removed from power” and expressed skepticism regarding concerns of a powerful and hostile new Sunni Islamist regime emerging from the ashes of Assad’s Syria. He suggested that Western-aligned Gulf countries would ensure that a Sunni-dominated Syria did not veer toward radicalism. Yadlin fell short of advocating Israeli action to help Assad’s fall but also said that the prospect of Sunni radicalism in Syria would not represent a major challenge for Israel and that Assad’s departure would be a major blow to Iran and its allies.
All of this said, however, talks with serving Israeli officials engaged on Syria suggest the existence of a separate school of thought that is deeply concerned at the potential threat of emergent Salafi Islamism in Syria in whatever vacuum is left in the wake of Assad’s downfall. Israel is observing closely the growing strength of the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra organization, which is now thought to have upward of 6,000 fighters under its banner and has made statements suggesting that it plans to attack both Israeli and U.S. targets, once its war with Assad has been concluded.
While rival analyses clearly exist in the Israeli discussion regarding the likely direction of events in Syria, these do not reveal broad differences regarding recommended Israeli actions in the immediate future. In the here and now, Israel is pursuing a policy designed to minimize the threats represented by both sides.
Read the whole thing. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.

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At 4:11 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Israel should be on Israel's side in Syria.

It means anything in Syria that can endanger Israel should be eliminated.

May the best Syrian animals win. If the winners have nothing better to do that to turn their attention to Israel once the smoke in Damascus settles, we'll give them more smoke to choke on until they stop.

It's that simple. Well... it should be.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I say neither. If you google "Nonie Darwish," you'll get videos of her talks, where she has done an excellent job of explaining to dreamy Americans that the pendulum in almost all of the Middle Eastern countries is swinging back and forth between the dreaded military dictators and the muslim dictators. Neither are good or better for living things. So, in Syria, you'd be supporting Obama's black flag cannibals over the thug? I can't think either is a benefit to Israel. I think the apparent current approach of close watching and acting on anything aimed at Israel or using Israel as a rallying point (that Khyber thing)... protect yourselves. A person's grievance driven temper tantrum does not reduce your right to live unmolested.

At 1:48 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

It's wild how often I agree with Shy Guy. Even though we say it so differently.


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