Israel's Real Target Is Not Syria But Hizbullah

(Guardian-UK) Michael Herzog - Israel has no interest in getting drawn into the Syrian quagmire. Its target is strategic weapons destined for Hizbullah in Lebanon. On the one hand, Israel appreciates the potential benefits of President Assad's departure, which would be a blow to Iran and Hizbullah. On the other, the Syrian mess is empowering Islamists and jihadists, who may later threaten Israel directly, ending nearly 40 years of quiet on the Israeli-Syrian border. Israel believes that while other countries might intervene to prevent proliferation of chemical weapons, in stopping the transfer of conventional weapons, it is on its own. It expects only tacit political support for its actions from the U.S. and Europe, which so far it has received. After Iran itself, its client Hizbullah is Israel's most dangerous foe. It fired thousands of rockets at Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and it has been targeting Israelis in a global terror campaign. Israelis see a high chance of another round with Hizbullah in the future. While the war in Syria has given Hizbullah the opportunity to upgrade its arsenal, it has also given Israel the opportunity to deal with the challenge. IDF Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Herzog has held senior positions in the office of Israel's minister of defense.

2013-05-08 00:00:00

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