When I was living in Israel in the 70s, there was no such thing as cell phones or even the internet. But there was the portable transistor radio and everyone carried one tuned to one fo the few radio stations that were available. Once an hour, the news would be played. If you were on the bus you would hear the same report being playing on many radios. The announcer would report on International News. For instance, something about the Vietnam War, which was going on at that time. Let us say the reporter said that Saigon had fallen to the Viet Cong, everyone on the bus would say “is this good for the jews?”.
I can’t help thinking about this when I hear the reporting out of Iraq. The middle east is clearly in chaos. The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) which is a Sunni Terrorist organization that is so brutal even Al Qaeda does not want to be associated with it has taken over the second largest city in Iraq. It is likely that Iraq will break apart into three countries. One country will be Shiite and associated with Iran. One will be Kurd, and one will be Sunni and make the Taliban looks like liberal. But the ISIS wants also to take Syria and Lebanon. That is a pretty scary thing from Israel’s perspective or is it. Don’t forget that Hezbollah located in South Lebanon is probably Israel’s most serious threat. They have tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel. But ISIS will certainly wage a war and destroy them eventually. But then Israel will face them on its northern border.
For sure, Palestine is a looser in all this. With all this going on, no Arab state cares about them. And with all this going on, how can Israel be expected to accept an independent state in Palestine, which could easily be dominated by the ISIS.
So I am left with the question “Good for the Jews?”.
The sad part about all this is that more than 3000 American soldiers have died in vain, and tens of thousands have been scarred physically and mentally. Bush upset the balance of power in the Middle East when he deposed Saddam Hussein. What we are seeing now is the Sunnis re-asserting themselves against the Shiites. Is it good for the Jews???? Probably, because if ISIS is successful, Iran and Hezbollah are going to be feeling an existential threat. I don’t think ISIS is armed well enough to win this conflict, on the other hand, I don’t think Iran, Hezbollah or any other of the Shiite powers can defeat ISIS. We will be looking at a prolonged Shia/Sunni conflict like the previous Iran/Iraq war. You are right in that the losers will be the Palestinians, as the Arab monarchies and emirates become pre-occupied with protecting their own existence.
As for Israel, it will keep a close eye on everything, and do what it needs to do to protect itself. And the world will sit idly by, hypocritically criticizing Israel, while Israel does the dirty work for everyone else.
I agree with PHILKRAMER’s remarks that the Iraq war triggered a prolonged Islamic conflict and this will distract everyone in the Arab world from the question of the Palestinians. Israel can just sit back and watch the show. I don’t see any possibility of pressure on Israel for at least a decade, likely longer.
On the other hand the Kurds are the only success story to come out of Iraq and if they can patch up relations with Turkey that would be an interesting combination of influence that could reign in Syrian chaos from the north and check Iranian advances into the region. I could see Israel and the Kurds cooperating in the same way there are non-disclosable agreements between Israeli and Turkish companies today. Perversely the chaos in Iraq may not just distract from the Palestinian question, but be good for business as Israel and the Kurds could work discretely together.