Israel and the 'Jihadi Spring'
Forget the "Arab Spring" that never was. We are now in a "Jihadi Spring" that is very real. That murderous Al Qaeda spinoff the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), known locally as DAASH, has already taken control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and yesterday seized a transit point with Jordan.
But what do they really have in mind? It's not that hard to guess. Frank Lamb, a man bizarrely sympathetic to DAASH/ISIS (a group that likes to lop off people's heads!) and in contact with their leadership, writes at a website called muslimvillage.com that their dual goal is to establish a Sunni caliphate and, naturally, "liberate" Palestine:
With respect to events surrounding its takeover of Mosul and other social media broadcast exhibitions of mass brutality, ISIS claims it was done for a purpose, the same purpose that other state and non-state actors have used over the past two decades and that is for 90% of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims (Sunni) to free themselves from the oppression of the 10% (Shia).
Several reasons were given as to why Palestinians should hold out hope for ISIS succeeding in their cause when all other Arab, Muslim, and Western claimed Resistance supporters have been abject failures and invariably end up benefiting the Zionist occupation regime terrorizing Palestine. “All countries in this region are playing the sectarian card just as they have long played the Palestinian card but the difference with ISIS is that we are serious about Palestine and they are not. Tel Aviv will fall as fast as Mosul when the time is right”, a DAASH ally explained. Another gentleman insisted, “DAASH will fight where no one else is willing.”
If I were Benjamin Netanyahu, I would take them seriously -- and I imagine he does.
Debkafile is not always a reliable source, but in this instance I have a suspicion they are onto something:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu posted notes Friday, June 20, to President Barack Obama, King Abdullah of Jordan and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources in Washington and Jerusalem reveal. They dealt with the rapid advances made by Al Qaeda-related Sunni Islamist fighters in Iraq, now heading towards the Iraqi-Syrian-Jordanian border intersection and how they bore on the security of Israel, the Palestinians and Kingdom of Jordan just next door.
Netanyahu’s main point was that Israel’s armed forces (the IDF) are the only army in the region with the capabilities and counter-terrorism experience for standing up to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and therefore buttressing the rule of Jordan’s King Abdullah and Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah against jihadist incursions.
Indeed they (the IDF) are, and given that Obama is so reluctant to use U.S. forces, promising this and that and then as quickly reneging, it falls to the Israelis to act as policemen in the area. Last night, they hit nine targets in Syria in response to the cross-border killing of an Israeli teenager by fire from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. This may have been as much a warning to all the bad actors in the neighborhood (Hezbollah, Hamas and now ISIS) as it was yet another slap on the wrist to the mass-murdering Assad. At least the Israelis did something.
The next few months are going to be very interesting in the always dramatic Middle East, and Israel is oddly primed to come out in a stronger position than ever, if they don't get unnecessarily undercut by the Obama administration. This would not only be a good thing for the Israelis but for their Arab-Israeli citizens who of late seem increasingly inclined to remain inside the Jewish state. It's easy to understand why.
Speaking of which, Netanyahu gets much criticism from the left and the right. Not from me. In all, I think he has done a rather remarkable job of balancing the various competing forces while keeping his country moving ahead. Sure he has had to make compromises that not everybody likes, that I might not like. But imagine what it must be like to be Israeli prime minister during the age of Obama and have to deal on a nearly daily basis with him. For that Netanyahu deserves the gratitude of all of us.
(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)