Understanding Israel's War in the "Grey Zone"

(Newsweek) Jonathan Spyer - For some years now, Israel has been engaged in an ongoing, usually silent, "grey zone" war with Iran, a country committed to Israel's destruction. This campaign, and the way it is fought, is a natural partner to the diplomatic moves that have recently produced "normalization" agreements between Israel, Morocco, Sudan, the UAE and Bahrain. The task facing Israeli strategists has been to develop a means of diplomacy and a simultaneous means of war. What this looks like in practice has been on display in recent weeks. The purpose of Israel's current, ongoing military campaign is to hinder Iran's ongoing efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. It also seeks to reverse the Iranian project to create an extensive infrastructure of support across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and then to embed advanced weapons systems directed at Israel within that infrastructure. The air force is engaged on a weekly basis in disrupting Iranian efforts at consolidating its infrastructure in Syria. This ongoing campaign has succeeded in setting back the Iranian effort by "80-85%," former Israeli national security advisor Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror told me recently. Israel's approach to conflict is intended to minimize fallout and accompanying noise, while bolstering the atmosphere of security and normality that makes a flourishing 21st-century society feasible amidst a troubled and strife-torn neighborhood. The writer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

2020-12-24 00:00:00

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