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Tuesday, June 18, 2013



SYRIA and IRAN and EGYPT stand out as the greatest concerns of the moment, with Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan not far behind.  ISRAEL is certainly caught between Iraq and hard places....

On the one hand getting Syria right may be the key that finally unlocks the gates to the potential nuclear hell that is Iran.  The results of the Iranian "elections" may mean that Iran has reached a tipping point and is ready to engage with the UN and the West in a way that suggests a less megalomaniacal attitude.  On the other hand regardless of the Syria outcome the present "election" results may be intended simply to enable Iran to present the appearance of a more moderate face to the world, even as Iran shifts it's alliances eastwards.

To date we see the Russia-Syria-Iran connections quite clearly.  There is every reason to see and be vigilant regarding these connections, and to be alert as well to the Stalinesque Putin-Assad-Ahmadinijad-Erdogan-Morsi patterns of totalitarianism in various stages of their development (even though Turkey is a NATO country and Egypt is presently, though precariously, in the American sphere, we had best not take these relations for granted).

We must not be so narrowly focused on Syria that we lose sight of the growing Iran-Pakistan-China connection.  There is an oil pipeline in progress to supply Iranian oil to Pakistan -- and whatever else may conceivably be transported via such a pipeline, eastwards or westwards (which possibility ought not be taken lightly, whatever weight the crude, as the new government of Pakistan has publicly announced a deepening of Chinese assistance in the further advancement of the nuclear capabilities of Pakistan).  It is not then a far stretch to realize that there may also be a deepening Chinese involvement in the assistance of Iranian nuclear development, whether as a complement to present Russian guidance or as a replacement of the Russians, should the Western nations coax the Russians out of their Iranian beach front.

What can Israel do, caught as it is in the center of all this superpower international intrigue that is laced with the aspirations of the would-be-superpowers of the Muslim world, and all of whom seem to regard Israel as at least the goalie to the soccer ball that is presently Syria and and could overnight become Israel as well?

One thing Israel can do is to remember that needless hatred and the destructiveness thereof is not restricted to the history of Israel.  One-hundred-thousand Syrians have already paid dearly for the needless hatred of Syrian v. Syrian, and most of those, who have paid the price, have been innocents.  Can Israel find ways to aid suffering Syrian refugees without also exposing Israel's underbelly?  Can Israel suggest ways to cool things down between the contesting parties  of Syria?  Can Israel manage to stay sufficiently out of the fray so that Hezbollah will not attack Israel?  If Hezbollah chooses anyway to attack Israel, is Israel ready -- and ready as well, should Hamas join in and attack Israel from Gaza?  Could Iran conceivably attack Israel?  Is Morsi studying ways to convert a public stance against Assad into a war footing that may further consolidate Muslim Brotherhood power in Egypt?  Is an Israeli-Egyptian alliance against Iran conceivable?  Oy, Vey!  Such questions!

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