Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Israel faces strategic uncertainty over Syrian uprising   

Arab News - 24 February, 2012
Author: Hassan Barari

The unfolding events in Syria have posed a question that Israelis still grapple with: How should Israel react to the crisis in Syria? The public debate in Israel with regard to the best scenario that can happen in Syria is far from conclusive. While, Israelis on the whole find Syria under President Bashar Assad a hard nut to crack, yet his demise is not necessarily in the best interest for Tel Aviv for the short run.

By and large, Israelis are torn by two schools of thoughts or let us say between two sentiments. The downfall of Assad regime can deal a decisive blow to the Iranian regime. Syria, according to this view is a linchpin in the Iranian power network. Iran in this case will be without allies or proxies. Therefore, Tehran will get further isolated and emasculated, a step that Tel Aviv welcomes. The Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor said lately that “if the unholy alliance of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah can be broken, that is very positive.”

And yet, the collapse of the Syrian regime may trigger unprecedented level of uncertainty. In this case, Syria without a strong central authority could descend into mayhem. This situation would present new challenges for Israel to deal with. Therefore, the second school of thoughts makes that case that the survival of a strong central authority under Assad is better.

Although the majority of Israelis subscribe to the first school of thoughts, yet the Israeli government and leading strategic analysts predict a chaotic post-Assad Syria. Their prediction of the chaos scenario has to do with basic facts such as the loyalty of a huge bunch of the army to Assad; Iranian economic aid; the lack of appetite for external powers to interfere militarily; and finally the low participation in demonstrations in major cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

This issue was debated at all forums in Israel among them the annual Herzliya conference that was held a few weeks ago. The most outspoken on this issue in particular was Ehud Barak, the defense minister. Warning and commenting on a possible chaotic situation in Syria, Barak drew the attention to the impact of chaos on the delicate balance in Lebanon. In his words, “We are following in particular the possible transfer of advanced weapons systems to Hezbollah, which break the delicate balance in Lebanon.”

The question here is whether Israel will intercept and attack a convoy of trucks transferring weapons or not. Any reckless attack has the potential of changing the dynamics of the crisis in Syria. The Syrian regime in this case will be in a position to claim that Israel is part of the “conspiracy” against the regime. Such a thoughtless attack, if materialized, will only weaken the opposition groups who have been trying to topple the regime. For security considerations, Israel is unlikely to attack unless the weapon being transferred can change the strategic balance between Israel and Hezbollah and this is ruled out.

That said, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Israeli decision makers are in a state of uncertainty over what Israel should do to protect its interests in the near future. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is careful not to say anything that could give the Syrian regime ammunitions that the demonstration in Syria has come as part of a wider Zionist-American plan to dethrone Assad. Nonetheless, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann and Barak have been on record calling for the fall of the regime. Another point of grave concern for Israelis is the infiltrations of Al-Qaeda fighters into Syria. The assumption is that the vacuum created by the demonstrations and the increasing weakness of the regime have provided Al-Qaeda with the long-awaited opportunity to act in Syria.

In brief, Israel’s calculations are more complicated than the mere crisis in Syria. Some Israeli analysts even go as far as saying that the Assad regime may launch preemptive attack on Israel. Although this probability is low, no one can predict for sure whether Iran will push Assad for such a move to drag the whole region in a different conflict. Saddam Hussein did it in the 1991 war hoping that Israel would react thus torpedoing the Arab-American coalition designed to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Will Israel act responsibly this time? It is difficult to guess given the highly uncertain region.
 
When the Terrorists Become 'Activists'
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Salman Aldossary
Saudi Arabia has issued a death sentence for a Saudi Shi’ite religious figure, Nimr Al-Nimr. The charges that have been proven against him are numerous and quite varied....
ISIS is real, not a nightmare
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Prior to June 6, Iraq's former prime minister, Nuri Al-Maliki, treated warnings about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with disdain, claiming reports about the group were meant...
Efforts to conscript Turkey
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Yousef Awadh
It is glaring that the international community has reached the dead end in its bid to persuade Turkey to join the international actions against DAESH. Through the statements made by...
Need for more self-employed entrepreneurs in the Sultanate
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Ali Ahmed al Riyami
While the number of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Sultanate is on the increase, there are still not enough individuals with entrepreneurial spirit going into business for...
Capital markets and global oil price fallout
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Lo'ai Batainah
The change in investors' sentiment and decisions means a lot for analysts and observers; it means a shift in investors' appetite and unwillingness to face any possible financial or operational...
Happiness index
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Labeed Abdal
The happiness index was launched recently in Dubai as a unique initiative to detect people's level of contentment from government services. This is a positive step that gives the impression...
The Three-Minute Policy
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Thaar Al-Rashidi
In view of the extreme fogginess overwhelming our political practices where visibility is much less than one meter in most cases, it is hard to predict what might happen tomorrow....
Protecting scholars in war-torn states essential for rebuilding
Source : Gulf Times  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Mark A Angelson and Allan E Goodman
The application from an Iraqi university professor to the Scholar Rescue Fund was chilling. It described how he had been pressured relentlessly by a local militia to promote its agenda...
Muddy anti-terrorism policy
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Vijay Prashad
The United States and its allies continue to bomb northern Iraq and Syria. The purported target is the ISIS, whose territory stretches across the borders of the two countries. The...
Who will help Turkey help Kobane?
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Mevlüt Çavuolu
The plight of the small town of Kobane has become the focus of the world’s attention amid the devastation and misery of Syria. With each day the reign of terror...
Who supplied Saddam's germ weapons?
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Eric S. Margolis
While covering Iraq in 1990, I discovered the United States and Britain had been secretly building a germ weapons arsenal for Iraq to use against Iran in the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq...
The killing fields
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-10-21
Author : Bikram Vohra
There are hotspots that the sun sends out and then there are those that are man-made and treacherous. A genuine hotspot and going beyond the mere fluff of a label...
The Emergency is Not the Islamic State but War
Source : The Counter Punch  
Date : 2014-10-20
Author : Kathy Kelly
On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a U.S. military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite...
Conflicting priorities for anti-ISIS coalition members
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-20
Author : Raghida Dergham
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not compromise on the conditions he set out to President Barack Obama for entering as a direct party in the war on ISIS. He is...
Stop pointing fingers. Many sources lie behind ISIS's rise
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-20
Author : Manuel Almeida
The tens of thousands of jihadists and would-be-jihadists that have flocked to Syria, coupled with the rise of ISIS, have placed the public debate about radicalism on the spotlight. This...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
1 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Tue Oct 21, 2014| 26-ذو الحجة-1435هـ
Saudi message to Yemeni factions: Defeat agents of destabilization!
Iran yet to keep N-probe promise: IAEA
Kurds hail US arms drop as Turkey boosts Kobane battle
ISIL attacks affect energy projects N. Iraq: Turkey
SR47.19m rail deal to ensure line safety
'EU says Assad regime cannot be part of fight against ISIL'
UAE takes first step to Mars mission
At least 60 killed in Yemen violence
Kuwaiti-Iranian cultural relations strong, special - Iranian official
Oman's banks get extension to comply with funding of SMEs
Oil market battles weak demand, ample supplies 
493 file papers for municipal, parliamentary polls in Bahrain
Qatar, Azerbaijan sign two security cooperation deals
DIP fuels UAE industrial boom, pulls 3,500 firms
Standard Chartered to exit SME business in UAE next month
Qatar infrastructure spending creates opportunities for international firms
    Newspaper Editorials
No winners in Libya
The airdrop paradox
More>>  
    Opinions
When the Terrorists Become 'Activists'
ISIS is real, not a nightmare
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
Justice in Transition in Yemen
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for US Policy
More>>  
    Bank Reports
GCC Markets Performance – May 2014
Saudi Arabia: Baseline Macroeconomic Forecast 2014-16
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Saudi Arabia and the ASEAN Periphery: Cambodia, Myanmar, and Brunei
NATO and the Future of Gulf Security.
Saudi-Vietnam Relations
    GRC Commentary
Price of not heeding Kingdom's advice
On Relations between Rulers and Citizens: The Need for a New Social/Political Contract in the GCC States
Key Issue Facing the Saudi Ruling House.
    GRC Book Review
Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East
India, GCC and the Global Energy Regime: Exploring Interdependence and Outlook for Collaboration.
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Labor Market Integration in the GCC Countries
Integration Processes in Latin America
GCC’s External Trade Integration: An Assessment
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   07-- 07 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 07 - 07--en--sess-enreq-en-coming