News on what’s going on in Northern Israel
“Ron Ben Yishai, who served for years as a senior military correspondent wrote an Opinion on Ynet. Here are excerpts:
“Current tensions in Israel’s northern sector have a bone-chilling historical link to Holocaust Memorial Day, which begins Wednesday evening. They are both linked by the usage of chemical weapons and noxious gases against defenseless civilians.
Germans were the first to use mustard gases in World War One. Nobody stopped them or punished them, and so they once again used deadly gases on an industrial scale to put to death millions of civilians in World War Two. […] Today it is Russia that is using them—the former victim of Germany during World War Two, many of whose civilians were slaughtered by gas along with the Jews of other countries.
They are the ones spearheading the use of chemical weapons (poisoning is also considered the use of chemical weapons)—against those individuals in their population that they consider to be traitors—while also sponsoring a ruthless Middle-Eastern despot such as Bashar al-Assad and allowing him to butcher his own people with chemical weapons.
The conclusion is clear: international law and conventions are not worth the paper they’re printed on—if there’s no one to enforce them. If the US, therefore, does not act decisively in retaliation to the Russian sponsored use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, many more states will follow in Syria’s footsteps.
The American need to act as part of a coalition stems from their desire to be afforded legitimacy outside the halls of the United Nations for military action against a sovereign state, and to make clear the objection to using chemical weapons is not an American whim but a value shared by the entirety of the enlightened, democratic world.
French President Emmanuel Macron has already announced his country will take part in any such punitive measures against Syria, but Trump needs additional partners from the international community rather than only European ones. That, it may be assumed, is the chief reason for the delay in the American response.
The second reason, however, is the American need to allow their allies as well as other countries to prepare themselves for a possible tit for tat on the part of Russia and the Syrian regime for any attack on Syrian soil.
International aviation authorities, for their part, have announced the eastern basin of the Mediterranean as a zone dangerous for civil aviation in the next 72 hours, but Americans and their allies must also gird themselves for Russian President Vladimir Putin to strike elsewhere.
[…] From an Israeli perspective, it is better for the US to strike despite the attendant dangers. Otherwise, Assad and Iran will consider the American abstention from action as legitimizing the development and even deployment of unconventional weapons.
Israel’s chief goals in Syria at the moment are twofold: to prevent the military entrenchment of Iran and the militias operating on its behalf and to avoid as much as possible involvement in the Syrian all-out war.
“The voiceless Syrian people have been betrayed by the corrupt head of states and condemned to dispersion, destruction, and death, which is a dreadfully sad testament to the international community’s moral bankruptcy.
Both internal and external players have been nurturing their vested interests by prolonging the deadly conflict, hoping to improve their position to serve their long-term objectives. The irony is that none of the external main players—Russia, Iran, US, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia—and the domestic actors (the Assad regime, Sunnis, and Kurds) will end up with such lasting gains that outweigh the horrifying losses that have been inflicted on the country and its citizens.”
“nothing else matters but their criminal self-interest ”