What does Israel worry about?

By Scott Morgan

One cannot read a blog post or printed medium or watch TV or even attend a panel discussion in Washington or London without hearing about the situation in either Aleppo or Mosul; and hear how the Kurds will be affected or how the Russian Intervention alters the strategic balance or how these events are part of a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran.

However, there is one question that should be asked but has not been asked at anytime during the fight against the Islamic State Militants. That question is what concerns does Israel have? Whom are they backing and why? Some strategists and analysts are pondering this question and there is some train of thought as to what the Israelis are thinking.

We know that one area that should be monitored is the Sinai Peninsula. There has been a recent offensive by Egyptian Security Forces designed to break up and destroy any ISIS cells that are found. The current Government under President Al-Sisi has been working as well to disrupt the effort by Hamas to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip through a network of tunnels. This has been a welcome change of strategy from the previous Morsi Government of the Muslim Brotherhood which supported efforts to attack Israel.

Notwithstanding, the sluggishness of the Egyptian Economy has raised some concern with the Israeli Government and led it to make some common cause with a country which has been a long standing adversary; but with whom, in some cases, shares policy with similar interests - e.g. a bellicose Iran. That Country is Saudi Arabia. But the depressed oil prices have placed a damper on the Saudi Economy as well. A stalemate in Yemen that has given the Saudis a PR headache doesn’t help matters either.

An interesting point of contention is the relationship with Kurdistan. After Operation Desert Storm, the then Shamir Government asked the Bush (41) Administration to provide aid to the Kurds. Israel had been providing such assistance proving their historical ties that date back to what is recorded in the Old Testament. Recent actions by Turkey, against some of the Kurds, can be seen as a source of tensions between the two states.

But one may ask why has Israel been quiet during the fighting in Syria? There have been random Air Strikes by the IAF when needed, and the IDF have treated casualties when needed too. But those actions have been the only ones taken in Syria. There are two reasons for that: first of all, there has been no direct threat to Israel itself - the Golan Heights for the most part have been immune to the anti-Assad crusade; and secondly, the Kingdom of Jordan has maintained its borders intact. Therefore Israeli interests have not been directly attacked yet either.

Despite the Negative Publicity created by its intervention, the Russian Federation decision to coordinate its Operations in Syria with Tel Aviv has worked out better than most efforts with the United States. Could the Change of Administration in Washington bear such fruit?

It appears that Prime Minister Netanyahu has conducted a very successful quiet policy with his Sunni Arab Neighbors. Both have concerns regarding the designs of an ambitious Iran and its Shia clients and Syrian Allies. The traditional relationship with the Kurds continues to bear fruit as well.

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. Israel's concern is to see how it can best work with her neighbors to reach a permanent deal with the Palestinians. Syria is not a direct threat, Jordan is not a threat, Hezbollah is contained, Hamas better watch their backs, and Saudi Arabia is too busy fighting ISIS and Iran to even think about attacking Israel. But I would definitely watch out for Qatar!

  2. Hi Morgan,

    You usually go deep in your items but, somehow, with this theme you just didn't go deep enough. But I commend you for trying, I know this is not your area of expertise. Israel is very secretive about its concerns, it's true, and it distracts the world with the Palestinian issue, even though it knows it is not going anywhere. But there are excellent sources that you can use.



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