Foreign Policy Forecast for 2023

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah - The conventional arms balance assessment that used to show the Arab military threat as the existential threat to Israel is no longer valid. The last concerted Arab effort to defeat Israel took place in 1973 and ended with Israeli troops defeating both the Egyptian and Syrian armies. The peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, and the Abraham Accords added to the peace structure, and the Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco have further ruled out the specter of a united Arab effort that would storm Israel. The Syrian civil war that began in 2011 and the disintegration of the Syrian state have also eliminated the possible threat of a surprise attack on Israel by the Syrian army. In the last 40 years, new enemies have emerged in the areas facing Israel, spearheaded by Iran, such as Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and pro-Iranian proxies deployed east of the Israeli lines in the Golan Heights. Iran will try to retaliate for Iranian targets hit by attacks attributed to Israel by attacking targets inside Israel directly or through its proxies. Moreover, Iran has stepped up its efforts to hit Israeli and Jewish targets outside Israel. Hizbullah will continue to move its positions closer to the Israeli border. The Islamic State's obituary, triumphantly declared in 2017, was premature. Africa has become the focus of ISIS efforts and the Islamic State's latest success story. Over the past two years, it has attacked civilian targets in 13 African states. The writer is former Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

2023-01-12 00:00:00

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