Israel's Role as an Asset for the West

[Jerusalem Post] Jonathan Spyer - As the smoke clears from the latest round of fighting in Gaza, the perception in the Arab world is that Israel was victorious and that Hamas and its allies suffered a significant setback. It is precisely the extent of destruction wrought by Israel in Gaza, along with the very minor losses suffered by the Israeli side, which make the Hamas claims of having achieved anything at all - let alone victory - ring hollow. This time around, the "resistance" model did not seem to work. The rockets did not succeed in creating a sense of siege in Israel's south, but rather declined in number as the operation proceeded. Ground operations were undertaken in the heart of Gaza - successfully, and with few losses. Israel acts as the blunt instrument - physically resisting anti-Western forces and thus denting their charisma. This then creates a space whereby pro-Western Arab states can make the case that opposition to the West and to Israel is a road to nowhere. This is precisely the way that radical Arab nationalism was broken in the 1960s, which made possible the eventual achievement of peace between Egypt and Israel. It is in this way that Israel plays a crucial role as an ally and asset for the West. The radical Islamist ideology promoted by Iran is likely ultimately to be broken in a similar way. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.

2009-01-22 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive