The Middle East has long been a chaotic, confrontational, and confusing region — perhaps the most so on earth. And at no time has there been greater possibilities for both war and peace as there is today.
Writing at The Times of Israel, Israeli writer and close friend of our founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and of The Fellowship, Yossi Klein Halevi takes a look at the very different and very possible realities that Israelis must consider:
Tags: Israel Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein Times of Israel Yossie Klein Halevi
This is a maddeningly confusing moment in Israel’s relations with the Middle East. Israel could be headed toward two opposing realities simultaneously: on the one hand, devastating war with Iran and its proxies; on the other, unprecedented possibilities for peace with parts of the region. We need to pay attention to both threat and opportunity.
Since 2012, when the IDF launched its campaign of attacks to prevent Iranian forces and advanced weapons from converging on its borders, Israel and Iran have been effectively at war. So far, Iran has been wary of retaliating, fearful of the Israeli reaction, which will be severe. But as the IDF has repeatedly warned the Israeli public, it is just a matter of time before the conflict escalates. Tens of thousands of missiles and rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities and towns; and not even Israel’s impressive anti-missile defense system will be able to stop massive devastation.
The US killing of Iran’s military chief Qasem Soleimani may have brought the next phase of the Israeli-Iranian war closer. And yet few in Israel opposed the assassination. Israelis take the Iranian regime’s genocidal rhetoric seriously, and see in its destabilization of the region proof of its murderous credibility. With Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria, and Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza, Israel is now effectively surrounded by Iranian and pro-Iranian forces – a process directed by Soleimani…