Why the Attack on Syria Suits Netanyahu

By Ben Caspit
‹‹Previous Page |1 | 2 |

Hezbollah was meant to be waiting to attack us if we attacked Iran, and not a moment earlier.

That was the deterrence that Iran had on our northern border. To take it out on us now, because of some convoy of missiles or a factory manufacturing chemical weapons, or both, would be stupid, and the Iranians are trying not to make the same stupid mistake twice.

As it appears now, when we hardly know anything about what happened, Israel's conduct has been measured and correct.

Intensive contacts with the world, coordination with the US, public warnings, action, vagueness.

I suppose that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu closely studied the Syrian affair in 2007 before he acted this time.

Luckily for him, former prime minister Ehud Olmert didn't rush to the television studios to take credit for this attack, as Netanyahu did back in 2007.

Receive email alerts

[+] More

Bibi took a calculated risk, but in this crazy region, there is no calculation that can't suddenly go wrong and turn into a huge mess.

Unlike last time, Syria admitted it had been attacked, Hezbollah began cursing and the Russians, who never miss an opportunity for hypocrisy, issued a condemnation.

So everything is brought out into the open, the vagueness lingers and we're all running around on a combination of eggshells and burning coals.

Netanyahu, a prime minister who is much more cautious than his predecessor, hates gambles and is afraid of entanglements, faces a weekend of perspiration.

Still, it is nice to see that he drew a red line and acted when it was crossed. By the way, it also suits his current agenda.

Netanyahu has a clear political interest to establish as broad a coalition as possible.

There's nothing he hates more than to be dependent on a doubtful political partner.

Yair Lapid is the political partner Netanyahu wants, but this doesn't make him less questionable.

For Netanyahu, we're all questionable except for himself.

Lapid's declaration in a television interview this week that next time, he will stand for prime minister and win, fed Netanyahu's paranoia. Now he won't trust Lapid for a second.

Therefore, given the current situation, there is nothing that will expedite the establishment of a broad emergency government more than a flare-up on the borders.

No, Netanyahu didn't ask for this situation, but it's possible that he rushed to exploit it. That's legitimate. He exhibited control, initiative and a kind of cool-headedness, at least on the outside.

And now, if Lapid comes and insists on nonsense such as a maximum of 18 ministers in the cabinet or "sharing the burden" of military service, it'll be easier to blow him off. That's what Netanyahu is planning to do.

‹‹Previous Page |1 | 2 |

Sponsored Links
Related Articles
February 1, 2013
Israel's Free Hand on Syria - Tony Badran
January 31, 2013
Israel Looks for a Fresh Start - Ruth Eglash
February 1, 2013
Jordan Bracing for More Syria Spillover - David Schenker
January 25, 2013
Mali and the al-Qaeda Trap - Paul Rogers
January 30, 2013
How Syria's War Is Affecting Turkey - Soner Cagaptay
Ben Caspit
Author Archive