After recently finishing our classes section on Israeli-Arab relations, seeing news on Israel is suddenly much more interesting. I always remember Israel being in the news and being a constant topic of discussion, but since I never knew too much about it or its issues I never paid close attention to it. But after doing the readings, it has become much easier to understand what news articles are talking about when it comes to Israel and having some historical context helps with that.
I found two short articles published recently about Israel’s activities in Syria: https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-demolished-iranian-republican-guard-084500728.html
The first one is about Israel and its opposition to Iran’s influence in Syria. Iran has been providing arms to some anti-Israel groups like the Hezbollah and trying to establish a presence in Syria partly because of Israel. Israel destroyed the Iranian Republican Guard HQ in retaliation for rockets being launched into Israel by who they suspect to be Iranians. The second article talks about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu accusing Iran of planning future attacks against Israel. Keeping a historical context in mind, it is interesting to wonder if these Iranian attacks are exaggerated to shore up domestic support within Israel, considering also that Netanyahu is being indicted on corruption charges. It reminds me of the more hawkish parties in Israel in the past using attacks against Israel as excuses to respond with a disproportionate amount of force. On the other hand, Israel is seriously threatened by many of it neighbors either through funding terrorist groups or by direct military action(in the past mostly). The attacks in the articles weren’t made up and the threat of Iran does certainly exist to Israel.
The second article is about Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking about Iranian threats to Israel. He goes on to say that Israel will counter or prevent any potential attack on Israel. This article supplements the previous one by putting the Iranian missile attacks in the broader context of the threat that Iran poses to Israel through Syria. Netanyahu also showcases his more hawkish foreign policy against threats to Israel, which are often well received by the people during times of violence. It will be interesting to see if he is able to stay in office despite being indicted on corruption charges.
The existence of the threats to Israel along along with the more hawkish conservative parties in Israel supporting seemingly increasingly disproportionate retaliations against the perpetrators make it hard to see a potential middle ground for peace, either with surrounding neighbors or with Palestine.