Published in The Jewish Review of Books, Summer 2015
Of Syria’s five neighbors, Israel has been the least involved in the turmoil that is devouring the country and the least affected by it. Turkey and Jordan have supported different factions of the Syrian opposition. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite party militia, terrorist organization, and Iranian proxy, has conducted much of the fighting on behalf of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. ISIS, the jihadi organization, has assumed control of large swaths of land in western Iraq and eastern Syria. But Israel has engaged only in limited skirmishes along the ceasefire line in the Golan and a few pinprick attacks on weapon systems about to be delivered to Hezbollah. While Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon have taken in millions of Syrian refugees, Israel has opened its borders to supply largely unpublicized humanitarian aid to people who remain enemy civilians.
Project Syndicate, March 18, 2015
NEW YORK – Binyamin Netanyahu proved the pollsters wrong – not once, but twice. In the weeks and days leading up to Israel’s election, his defeat was widely predicted. Then, in the hours after the vote, exit polls suggested parity between his Likud party and the center-left Zionist Union, led by his chief rival, Yitzhak Herzog, with a slight edge for the right-wing bloc. Several hours after the polls closed, it turned out that Likud was the big winner, gaining 30 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, compared to 24 for the Zionist Union.
Brookings post blog, February 13, 2015
It is time for Israel to reconsider, in coordination with the United States, its policy toward the Syrian civil war .
For nearly four years, since March 2011, Israel has been sitting on the fence. Israeli policymakers and analysts are divided into two schools with regard to Syria’s future. The first, known as “the devil we know” school, argues that with all his faults Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime are preferable to an Islamist or jihadist alternative, and to the anarchy that is likely to ensue should the regime collapse. The other school argues that as the 2006 war in Lebanon amply demonstrated, the axis of Iran, Assad’s Syria, and Hezbollah presents a far more serious threat to Israel.
The Gaza conflict has further exposed and aggravated the tense relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, as well as the consequences of America's diminished role in the Middle East.
Haaretz, July 30, 2014
The Times of Israel, July 2, 2014
During the past three years Israel has responded to the Arab Spring and to the “great unraveling,” as its sequel is commonly called, with commendable caution. But more recently, in response to the remarkable success in Iraq by the Jihadi organization ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), there have been indications that that caution is being abandoned. Several Israeli spokesmen have offered aid to Jordan should ISIS try to attack the Hashemite Kingdom and Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday stated that Israel should support the Kurdish quest for independence. It is imperative for Israel to return to the restraint of its original response to its tumultuous environment.