VERDA ÖZER > Israel plays a new game with old rules

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Last week newspapers reported that Israel attacked Syria. It is true that Israeli planes attacked a Syrian convoy carrying antiaircraft weapons. However this does not mean that the attack targeted Syria.

The main target of the raid seems to be SA-17 missiles that were about to be transferred by Syria to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. Syria’s main research center on biological and chemical weapons, the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, also suffered damage where the weapons were stationed. However the reactions of the actors in question, namely Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Hezbollah, made the picture more than murky. Israel issued no statement and took no responsibility for the strike. Only former Defense Minister Ehud Barak came close to conceding involvement when speaking at the Munich Security Conference. Bashar al-Assad’s regime, on the other hand, kept calm and has been slammed for not responding to the air strike. Even more surprisingly, Hezbollah said they were not the target. Iran, seemingly having nothing to do with the incident, is the only country that did not surprise us. Tehran reacted immediately, saying the bombing may lead to serious consequences for Israel.

It all makes sense with pure deductive reasoning. The raid served as a great favor to the al-Assad regime. From the very outset of the domestic uprisings the Syrian regime has depicted them as a conspiracy hatched by external enemies. Hence the attack provided al-Assad with proof to “justify” his position and also with a second opportunity to activate Arab nationalism and gain the support of the Muslim world. It also greatly damaged the Syrian opposition, which had just declared they were open to dialogue with al-Assad. This strengthens the very well-known assumption of Israel: There will be no stability in Israel if there is no stability in Syria, where stability means al-Assad. Knowing this, al-Assad seems to have taken no offense regarding the attack at all. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was referring to this fact when he publicly questioned whether there was a secret agreement between Syria and Israel and why al-Assad does not use any strength against Israel.

Here we go again. It’s all about the most popular usual suspect, Iran. Israel wanted to make it clear that the next attack may target either Hezbollah camps in Lebanon or Tehran. However Tel Aviv is playing an old game. Several recent developments point to the formation of a new strategic alignment of Iran, Russia and the U.S., which seem to have agreed on a framework to end the Syria crisis. Since Iran also fears a Syrian takeover, it must have been considered to be an effective partner on this issue. And the nuclear crisis cannot be divorced from this partnership. Last week U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s declaration of America’s willingness to conduct direct nuclear talks with Iran got a cautious but positive response from Tehran. Besides, nuclear talks between Iran and the P5‏+1 are going to take place on Feb. 25.

Someone has to alert Israel that it cannot play a new game with the old rules.


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david ellison

2/19/2013 4:11:36 PM

I actually thought that this writer had capabilities. It seems that she is trying to boost her ratings with the old Israel is the cause of all evil. 60,000 Syrians killed by Moslem against Moslem fighting and somehow Israel is destabilizing the whole thing....the intellectual simplicity and dishonesty is astounding

turkic voice

2/12/2013 10:10:47 PM

wow you all strongly support Israel, it is true that the veiw of Isreal is that it causes evel. so much defending of Isreal is needed for a reson. so many actual facts start out as a conspircy befor getting proved in the caurse of history. alot of the conspircys teach us that Isreal doesent play by any rules

Safiyah Noor Page

2/12/2013 6:33:05 PM

It never ceases to amaze that a person with a theory that God Forbid cast Israel in anything but the light of the righteous antagonist gets the "Usual Suspects" to comment that the person with the theory using either illogical or twisted logic. Give it a break, the writer places blame on everyone that was possible in the airstrike.

mara mcglothin

2/12/2013 5:58:50 PM



2/12/2013 4:16:13 PM

The picture may have been "murky" to you Ms Özer but it is clear to most non-muslims and non-Turks. Weapons transfers from chaotic Syria to the terrorist Hezbollah will always, and thankfully so, be a reason for Israel to take decisive action. Just as weapons tranfers from the friendly ayatollah republic to Mr. Erdogan's best friends Hamas will always be cause enough for decisive action. Israel, unlike Turkey, has its priorities well defined and well defended. It's a matter of survival. Regards

Prof. Martin Golumbic

2/12/2013 10:27:48 AM

Ms. ÖZER is quite correct in repeating the well understood historical lesson (from the Lebanon civil war) that if there is no stability in Syria then it can have dangerous implications for Israel - and frankly, for Turkey too. Israel and Turkey continue to have many more common interests than disagreement, in spite of the press and their two Prime Minister's formal statements. Dr. Marty

Elan Jamil

2/12/2013 9:26:06 AM

what a twisted logic. Another example of seeing Israeli conspiracy in every corner. Why looking to the less probable explanation when it is clear that preventing an advaced arms from reaching the Hezbollah is the reason behaing the attack.

Johanna Dew

2/12/2013 12:52:05 AM

Madam, this is not deductive reasoning but uttering an insane illogical conspiracy theory mixed with suggestible wishful thinking. Nothing new in this part of the world. Next page please..:)

Lior Uziel

2/12/2013 12:34:33 AM

As usual, every side in the ME plays the "Israeli card" to his own benefit. Assad opposition (Turkey, Russia) claims that Israel is actually aiding him by this attack, while Assad supporters wave that as a proof that Israel is aiding the rebels as attacking army facilities.... But a new thing is now happening - the Arab world has evolved, people have opened their eyes, no longer manipulated by the "Israeli card"... . It is time for Turks do the same thing and stop "buying" this old merchandise.

jim handley

2/12/2013 12:11:53 AM

This analysis is typical of the warped view that Israel is always causing evil in the region. How about the more likely analysis that Israel will not allow advanced technology to go to Hez. Israel is clearly not a fan of Assad and is not in league with him, Each side, the Sunnis and the Shia/Iran claim that Israel in on their enemies side. Hard to believe anybody but the most gullible believe that.
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