Israel’s Policy in Syria Has Let Iran and Russia Entrench

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 9 April 2019

As the regime of Bashar Assad appears to be consolidating in Syria, many Israelis have concluded that their government’s handling of the crisis was generally laudable.

The most comprehensive statement of this view was given recently in Haaretz by Anshel Pfeffer (Netanyahu Outfoxed Russia, Iran and ISIS With His Cynical, Ruthless Syria Policy.) Every aspect of this is open to question.

Clearly Pfeffer is no apologist for the Israeli government, and Haaretz no government mouthpiece, which is what makes his case all the more important—and worrying. Pfeffer states outright that for him “complimenting [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu … on the eve of an election … is hardly an easy thing to do.”

Pfeffer credits Netanyahu for getting four big things right in Syria: avoiding entanglement in the contest between the Assad regime and the rebellion, recognizing the Islamic State as a menace and preventing terrorist infiltration, containing and deterring Iran, and deftly handling the Russians.

In truth, Netanyahu, far from having orchestrated a genius-level strategy, has exposed Israel up to potentially disastrous consequences.

Let’s examine each of these contentions in turn.

Read the rest at Haaretz

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