By Lawrence A. Franklin, Gatestone Institute-—
Israel — no longer diplomatically isolated — appears to be assuming a more prominent political and military role in the Middle East. Following Israel’s generous peace terms with its Arab neighbors, states such as Egypt and Jordan decided decades ago to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. More recently, Islamic countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also decided to normalize ties with Israel. Presently, these strong new ties appear to be leading to cooperation on an ever-deeper strategic level, especially regarding the destabilizing threat to the area posed by an increasingly aggressive and hegemonic Iran.
Currently — excluding its ventures into South America from where it can more easily threaten North America — Iran, sometimes via proxies such as the Houthis, Hamas or Hezbollah — has successfully inserted itself into Yemen, in a seeming bid to overthrow and supplant Saudi Arabia, as well as in Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
Iran’s increasingly aggressive policies toward these regional states has accelerated the cooperation between primarily Sunni Muslim Arab Gulf states and Israel. The Sunni-Shia theological civil war within Islam still appears to be fueling the destabilization of the Middle East — especially with the recently renewed courtship by the US administration of the Middle East’s greatest disrupter, Iran.
The first time around, during the Obama years, one might understand the fantasy that enriching and empowering Iran might lead it to give up its long-desired nuclear program and expansionist activities, not to mention the extreme abuses of its citizens at home. Now, however, the world has seen that the plan did not work, and that Iran had been cheating all along, anyhow.
What in the world, then, is the US expecting from repeating this disastrous exercise? For both the Israelis and the Gulf’s Arab monarchies, Iran’s Shia regional empire and drive to lead the Muslim world is still justifiably considered an existential threat.
Israel’s rising stature as a military power in the region is clearly a by-product of the new US policy decision to reduce its own military presence in the Mideast. This US decision was taken, presumably to confront more significant national security challenges such as China’s rapidly expanding power in Pacific Asia. This US move, however, creates a power vacuum that only Israel is capable of filling. Only Israel appears to have the will and resources to confront the twin challenge to Western civilization presented by a revolutionary Iran and Islamic extremism.
The Israel Air Force bombing of Iran’s growing military assets in western Syria opposite the Jewish state’s Golan Heights area is relentless. Additionally, Israel’s continued targeting of Iran’s ships in regional waters is a boost to Gulf State morale and added proof that the decision of the Arab monarchies’ leadership to reach out to Israel was the right choice. Israel may also be messaging the Biden administration that it will not be restrained by any US sensitivities if the national security interests of the Israeli nation-state are at risk. Continue Reading….