Monday, November 19, 2012

Israel's decisions

Has Israel played into the hands of Iran and Syria?

Maybe two weeks ago there was a minor exchange in the Golan Heights initiated by Syria and responded to by Israel.  There have apparently been two more since, nothing really consequential but hostile fire has been exchanged.

Following the first Golan Heights exchange, Hamas from its Gaza base lobbed a small number of rockets into Israel.  Israel's response was the precise drone attack that killed the head of the Hamas military. 

Then the real action began, with Hamas firing large numbers of its Iran supplied rockets into Israel and Israel responding with air raid, drone attack, and ship based attacks on Hamas.  The Hamas rockets are not so sophisticated but they have a longer range than what was there four years ago. Israel has a remarkably effective shield system that significantly erodes their effectiveness.  Israel intends for its attacks on Hamas to be precisely targeted, but in such a densely populated area with Hamas embedded in neighborhoods civilian casualities are inevitable.

So now the world gets to see a casualty count that is more than lopsided.

Why could this play into the hands of Iran and Syria?  Common sense suggests that it could given the history of the region.  For Syria in the immediate sense, it could allow Assad to maintain control of his military and stop abandonments as he stresses the Israeli "threat".  It could clearly be used politically.  With Syria's apparently huge chemical weapons stockpile and significant air power, Iran could underscore and those jihadists among the free Syria group could realize that further destabilizing Assad now would weaken the main force against Israel in that Levant area.

This is just speculation and all "facts" in this are gleaned from the media.  Take that for what it's worth.      


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