The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
JERUSALEM, Feb 14, 2012 (IPS) - Grappling with the fallout on their country of a possible forced removal from power of Syria's President Bashar Assad, Israeli leaders are fluctuating between wariness, cautious optimism, and self-righteousness.Last week, as the toll exacted by the 11-month Syrian uprising was mounting dramatically, Israelis were offered by their Prime Minister the customary appraisal that their country is like "a villa in the Mideast jungle". "We have received a reminder about what kind of a neighbourhood we live in," reiterated Benjamin Netanyahu, while delivering the customary recipe: "Developing Israel's strength". Netanyahu's statement prudently reflected the smallest common denominator in an array of tentative attitudes and positions with regard to the chaos gripping their north-eastern neighbour. Israel has officially adopted a policy of non-interference in the Syrian crisis. But that was before the uprising evolved into civil war. When asked by Army Radio whether Israel was in contact with the Syrian opposition, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon retorted rather obliquely, "Whether there's contact or not, don't expect me to discuss these things in the media."
Israel: Yes, the Israelis continue to obsess about Iran. And yes, Baathist Syria continues to be an Iran-friendly power. But when all is said and done, Syria has been a relatively quiet Arab neighbor, an island of stability for the Israelis. Yes, the Syrians aid Hezbollah, but Hezbollah too has been relatively quiet. Why would the Israelis really want to take the risk of a turbulent post-Baathist Syria? Who would then wield power, and might they not have to improve their credentials by expanding jihad against Israel? And wouldn't the fall of Assad lead to upsetting the relative quiet and stability that Lebanon now seems to enjoy, and might this not end up with the further strengthening and renewed radicalism of Hezbollah? Israel has a lot to lose, and not too much to gain, if Assad falls.
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 16 22 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 17 71 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 12 30 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 2 34 comments
by fjallstrom - Sep 29 41 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 30 21 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 26 2 comments
by Oui - Sep 23 10 comments
by Cat - Oct 21
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 1771 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 1622 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 1230 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Oct 234 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 3021 comments
by fjallstrom - Sep 2941 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 262 comments
by gmoke - Sep 24
by Oui - Sep 2310 comments
by Luis de Sousa - Sep 223 comments
by Cat - Sep 1422 comments