donderdag 13 juni 2013


Am I right to notice a kind of amazement in the coverage of the Israeli response to the Syrian uprising? As if there is no compliance with the image that exists of Israel, namely of being the imperialist aggressor or determined ally or adversary. ‘The Mossad’ did not sprinkle poison yet in President Assad’s wineglass. Expectations on the basis of the images do not materialize and therefore with some people confusion strikes.

First there was for many years rhetorical violence to and fro between Syria and Israel, while the actual situation was one of armed peace. This situation was enforced as strictly as possible by both countries, precisely for the sake of stability. When the revolt broke out in Syria Israel watched this with concern, because it is better to have for neighbor the enemy you know than one or many you do not know.

But early this year an Israeli military official told that his government would like to strengthen some groups of Syrian rebels, namely the more moderate and "friendly” ones which according to him exist between them.

On the other hand, in March the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army Lieutenant General Benny Gantz believed the risk of escalation is great. “We can only hope that the strategic reserves of the Syrian army including chemical weapons will not fall into the hands of the terrorists”, Gantz said. He found things were safer in the hands of the Assad regime.

At the end of May Israel warns Assad that the army “knows what to do” in case the much bespoken delivery of advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles to the regime of President Assad would actually take place. At that moment Israel had executed already several air raids in Syria, by which probably arms supplies were destroyed that were destined for Hezbollah.

So, what is Israel’s position exactly? And should one suspect imperialist plans behind it?

Or could it simply be that Israel wants security and lets itself be guided by that consideration in its actions? It’s true, they exist: Israeli expansionists bent on expansion of Israeli territory. These are the settlers in the West Bank, which insidiously usurp areas. They are dangerous and unsympathetic indeed, and their violence can not be crossed off against barbarity – however large – which takes place elsewhere in the region. And it is also true that the Israeli army lets itself be used too often for their interests: settlers in the West Bank are considered citizens who are entitled to protection. Even though many officers and soldiers do not agree with their behavior.

But with regard to the Syrian question it are sober security experts who try in a cool and reasoned manner to keep the ammunitiondump as wet as possible. Fortunately that’s the the Israeli army’s core business.