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Does Israel Really Fear Jihad Terrorism from a Post-Assad Syria?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

June 29, 2012 "
Information Clearing House" -- According to an article yesterday in Ynet, the Israeli military fears that “global Jihad terrorists will launch attacks from Syria” if President Bashar Assad’s regime falls. The Israeli newspaper reported:

Army officials are not ruling [sic] a situation whereby terrorists will take advantage of the chaos that may follow a regime change in Damascus to seize control of the border region, as was the case in the Sinai Peninsula after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.

Over the past few months the 36th Armored Division (Ga’ash), which is in charge of security along the border, has been gearing for a number of possible scenarios, including a cross-border attack by global jihad, which is operating in Syria against Assad’s regime.

The IDF fears the Horan region, near the border with Israel, will become a “no man’s land” and a hotbed of terrorism. Military officials are not ruling out the possibility of rocket fire from Syria and attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.

But if Israel is so concerned about global Jihad terrorists getting a foothold in Syria, then why is its American lobby leading the push for regime change in Damascus? Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention to websites such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Foreign Policy Initiative or Foundation for Defense of Democracies over the past year and a half knows how fervently pro-Israelis have been urging Washington to topple Assad.

To cite but one example, in November last year Foreign Policy Initiative and Foundation for Defense of Democracies jointly issued a discussion paper that outlined “policy options for the United States and like-minded nations to further assist the anti-regime Syrian opposition.” Entitled “Towards a Post-Assad Syria,” the paper advocated imposing “crippling sanctions” on the regime and providing assistance to opposition groups, including no-fly/no-go zones.

Foreign Policy Initiative co-founder Bill Kristol also heads the Emergency Committee for Israel, which specializes in producing videos attacking any politician, including President Obama, it deems to be insufficiently supportive of the Jewish state. Unless Kristol et al. are pursuing an agenda on Syria opposed by Tel Aviv — which is most unlikely — then why have they been promoting a policy that the IDF says will lead to global Jihad terrorists launching attacks on Israel? Could they be that stupid? Or could it be that Israeli strategists welcome the chaos that its army officials supposedly fear?

Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. www.thepassionateattachment.com


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