Russian-Brokered Deal a Mixed Blessing for Israel

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - If Syrian President Assad honors the deal - a huge "if" - then a very deadly weapon will be removed from Israel's doorstep. Israel would also be relieved of worrying that these chemical weapons could be transferred to Hizbullah or other terrorist organizations. While the assessments in Jerusalem have long been that Assad would be reluctant to use his chemical weapons against Israel because of fear of retribution, radical terrorists might not harbor a similar fear or even care about the payback. The bad news is that Assad is left standing, which sends the message to Iran: No worries, this world won't interfere, you can get away with it. Even if Assad has to forfeit his WMD stockpile, he will still literally get away with murder. Assad is now turning his country from an Iranian proxy into an Iranian client state. If he survives, it will be because of Russian political cover and Iranian and Hizbullah physical and material assistance. The main peril to Israel right now is not the Sunni terrorists, but rather the possibility of an Iranian-led Shi'ite axis - one that soon could be armed with nuclear weapons - stretching from Iran through Iraq, Syria and into Lebanon. Iran remains Israel's principal threat today, a threat that becomes existential if it gains nuclear arms. As such, anything that benefits Iran is bad for Jerusalem. Assad remaining in power benefits Iran.

2013-09-11 00:00:00

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