NEO: Past Time for Israel to set aside their Outdated Pipe Dreams

Events in the Mideast are propelled by the fact that the Israeli Army is no longer what it used to be. Its failure in the 2006 war with Hezbollah made that clear.


by Alexander Orlov, with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

[ Editor’s note: Alexander Orlov gives us some background on a July meeting between an Israeli delegation and the Russians. Israel wants no Iranian military presence in Syria, and presented the biggest unlikely pie-in-the-sky proposal that Syria be allowed no long-range rockets and would close its rocket facilities.

As opposed to disarmament, Syria might be better served to consider giving the Iranian army dual citizenship. Turnabout is fair play, since Israel did a similar gesture for certain Americans decades ago and demonstrated what a powerful allegiance tool it can be, sort of like giving forty thousand people a key to the city, as it were. At this point, it might be worth looking into… Jim W. Dean ]

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– First published 25 July 2018 –

In Jerusalem on July 23, talks were held between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Russian delegation headed by Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister and Valery Gerasimov, head of the General Staff of the armed forces.

Russian FM Lavrov with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman

On the Israeli side, the meeting was attended by Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister of Defense, Gadi Eizenkot, Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and Meir Ben-Shabbat, head of the National Security Council, along with other high-ranking Israeli officials.

At the beginning of the meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The link between us is extraordinarily important and it exists, as you have seen, in the direct meetings between myself and President Putin and between our staffs. I appreciate what President Putin and President Trump said about Israel’s security at the last summit.”

A particular issue in the talks was the “Iranian problem” and the situation in Syria, especially in relation to the military presence in Syria of Iran, its Hezbollah Shi’ite allies, and Shi’ite armed volunteer formations from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. After the talks finished, the Israeli television channel Reshet 13 announced, citing a government source, that during the meeting Mr. Netanyahu had insisted that the Iranian and Hezbollah forces must be sent at least 100 km from the Israeli border.

According to Israeli TV’s Channel 10, Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister of Defense, and Gadi Eizenkot, the Chief of the General Staff, had provided the Russian delegation with proof of Iran’s presence in Syria, including maps and intelligence reports.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry commented on the meeting in Jerusalem:

“The problem of regulating the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was also touched on in the course of the talks between Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, and Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow on July 11. Among the issues discussed in detail were the termination of the anti-terrorist operations in the south of Syria, and how to ensure  security along the Israeli border, including the fulfillment of the 1974 Israel-Syria Separation of Forces Agreement.”

Lieberman at Golan Heights

As early as the late evening of July 23, it was reported in the press that Israel had rejected Russia’s proposal for the creation of a 100 km-wide zone on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Israeli border, from which Iranian troops would be excluded. According to the newspaper in question, Israel rejected this suggestion and continued to demand that Iran be allowed no military presence in Syria at all.

Moreover, according to the Times of Israel, Israel also insists that no long-range rockets be based in Syria and that all rocket-producing facilities in the country be closed down. Admittedly, shortly afterwards it was announced that Israel had not rejected Moscow’s proposal to remove all Iranian forces to at least 100 km from the Syrian border with Israel.

So far, one thing is clear: what to do about Iran’s military presence is still an open question. And, as yet, no solution has been reached. At the very least, Israel has not accepted the options that have been proposed. And Iran has no intention of departing from Syria.

The problem is that it is impossible to resolve the issue of Iran’s, and its Shi’ite allies’, military presence in Syria without involving Teheran in the talks, given that such presence currently consists of at least 120 000 ground troops, military advisers, militants and volunteers. And their number is continually growing.

What is more, many of them are “reclaiming” the areas of Syria bordering on Iraq for permanent settlement there. Without their help, the Syrian government forces, together with the Russian military advisers and Russian army divisions troops based in Hmeimim, would be unable to bring about an end to the war in Syria.

Iranian soldiers with General Soleimani in Syrian desert

The Iranian military advisers and special forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as Hezbollah and the armed Shi’ite formations, frequently carry out most dangerous ground operations, in the course of which they suffer heavy losses. Therefore, however much time is spent discussing Israel’s concerns about the security of its northern border, a subject Donald Trump keeps on talking about, the reality is that there is currently no force that would be able to remove the Iranians from Syria or even force them to stay at least 100 km from the Israeli border. Damascus is certainly not going to do that.

Russia is also not likely to pick a fight with its partners in the anti-terrorist operation, and Israel simply cannot start a military operation against Iran and its proxy-forces on the ground in Syria and Lebanon. That would mean triggering a major war in the region, in which Egypt and the conservative Arabic monarchies of Arabia and Jordan would be forced to get involved.

After all, it is one matter to make a big fuss about the “Iranian threat”, and quite another to silently watch Jewish state attacking its Arab neighbour. Common Arabs will force their rulers to come to the aid of their Arab “brothers”, because if they don’t the new “Arab Spring” may sweep long rotten regimes which are propped up by US military might and by petrodollars. And then it will spread to Israel itself, surrounded as it is by hundreds of thousands of radical  Islamists, from the Moslem Brotherhood to the Al-Nusra Front, not to mention thousands of armed militants in Syria to the north, still not quite defeated by Damascus, and then, at home, the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip could flare up…

And the Israeli army is no longer what it used to be.  Its failure in the 2006 war with Hezbollah made that very clear.

Now all the Israeli armed forces can do is launch ineffective rocket attacks on military targets in Syria, which are rebuffed by Syria’s increasingly powerful missile defense system. And the Israel Defense Forces are in no position to launch a ground-based operation. That would mean mobilising at least 150 000 soldiers, with armoured vehicles and artillery, and requiring them to enter Lebanon and Syria, where they would be met by now highly-experienced Iranian and Hezbollah troops, Shi’ite militants, Islamist radicals and terrorists of all allegiances, not to mention the Syrian army and thousands of volunteers from Arab and other Moslem states.

Over the last 10 years there has been a strong move towards pacifism in Israeli society, and it is not ready for a war – especially one that could result in hundreds, or even thousands of casualties. Clearly, Israel has long passed the point where it could fight another war like those of 1973, 1982 etc.

Iranian troops

The USA is also not prepared to fight a war, especially now that arrangements are under way for the evacuation of US troops from the de-escalation zones in the south of Syria. To sum up, we can say with confidence that nobody is prepared to fight a major war in the Middle East.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s government therefore needs to reassess the situation and wake up to the realities of the twenty-first century. Today, Israel’s security is entirely dependent on its government’s readiness, not to dictate terms from a position of strength, but to negotiate and reach an agreement through diplomacy.

Foreign powers, even the USA, can no longer guarantee Israel’s security. And many people in Israel realise this.

Benjamin Netanyahu, however, is either living in an imaginary world, or he is bluffing. He wants to look strong, especially in view of the growing corruption scandal in Israel, in which he is involved. This time another war is no means to damp the scandal.

Israel needs to change its direction and recognize that other countries also have a right to live in peace and security. Giving up the occupied Golan Heights, resolving the Palestinian problem along the lines set out in the UN Security Council Resolution, and concluding peaceful agreements with all Arab nations: that would be the best possible guarantee of Israel’s security.

Alexander Orlov, political scientist, expert in Oriental Studies, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


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  2. The second paragraph of Orlov’s article mentions Netanyahu’s spoke of a unique bond, or link between the Russian’so and Jews. Recently I read that in Russia there’s talk of setting up a committee to study and investigate the murder of the Romanov’s in 1917 to search for commonalities between those Murders and the assassinations of other Russian leaders, which history show’s happen every one hundred years or so.
    If I were Netanyahu I’d worry the Russians may discover evidence of Jewish complicity in royal murders. omg.

  3. Have not these con artists in Israel, told so many lies, failed to honor so many agreements, stolen so many acres of land, trespassed on so many acres of land, killed and murdered so many innocent people, gang raped the Palestinians out of homes and everything, violated so many UN resolutions, committed so many crimes like 9/11/01, …nothing they say can be believed. The had better be satisfied with what little they can get from any agreement because it is not worth the paper on which it is written. The world must get tough with them this time and tell them in no uncertain terms to “shove it”. Their only other choice is to be obliterated.
    • “Larry Silverstein – is a Jewish American businessman from New York. Silverstein obtained a 99 year lease on the entire world trade center complex on 24 July, 2001. [3] The towers were in fact close to worthless, being filled with asbestos, [4] yet Silverstein “felt a compelling urge to own them”. Silverstein had breakfast in “Windows on the World” restaurant (located in North Tower 107th Floor) every morning. [5] but broke this routine on the morning of 11 September 2001. Silverstein’s two children, who also worked in the WTC, were also absent from work that day. Larry Silverstein was paid a little over $4.5 Billion in insurance money as a result of the destruction of the WTC complex. [6] Silverstein was on personal friendship terms with Zionist media-magnate Rupert Murdoch,

    • Logos Wins The Baal Game

      And besides ‘wjabbe’ the obvious and crucial questions Bibi (or the Knesset for that matter) doesn’t seemed to have considered – being cornered in a veritable political snake-pit all his miserable days, is WHERE OH WHERE is he going to get the population to occupy the lands of the Greater Israel Project. Is there gonna be a Greater Israel Sex Project to precede it…a prolonged, multi-year, Rabbi inspired, Mammoth Sex Fest where Israeli women bearing more than 12 children will be granted…kinda like, free condoms after 60? Don’t fall for it girls, see through the lie. Forget the sex fest born of the insane Rabbinical, male oriented, one-upmanship, mindset: as the girls of the Sans Rival in Beirut used to say “there are other ways of staying one jump ahead on the game.” Its gotta be somewhere in the Talmud or Leviticus. Imagine getting enough Jewish farmers to work the land, be shepherds, goat-herders, and such. Yeah, right! Or does Bibi just expect to march in and ‘voila!’ 3,000 goyim on hand for each Israeli to do his bidding. Well, that’s what the Talmud says it should be! Uncle Sam is broke as it is and paying others to die for Israel let alone work for them while they roll in roistering revelry just ain’t gonna happen. Yes, girls, forget the sex fest, Logos wins the Baal game.

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