Ross & Tabler on the desirability of attacking Syria


" … the Obama administration’s plan, opposed by many within the C.I.A., the State Department and the Pentagon, is flawed. Not only would it cement the Assad government’s siege of the opposition-held city Aleppo, it would push terrorist groups and refugees into neighboring Turkey. Instead, the United States must use this opportunity to take a harder line against Mr. Assad and his allies."  NY Times oped piece by Ross and Tabler


An obvious "exaggeration."   IMO these two people are well known in Washington as Zionist operatives.   IMO their bleating is demonstrative of Israeli government concern that their strategy of weakening Iran by destroying the Syrian government is not working.  pl

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47 Responses to Ross & Tabler on the desirability of attacking Syria

  1. Matthew says:

    Send in the lawyers! See
    Sometimes, fortune is unkind. Imagine if the “moderates'” plan to use jihadis to destroy Arab secularism merely leads to the dreaded “Shia crescent” and a much larger Iranians presence in the Med protected by a huge permanent Russian military presence in Latakia.
    Somewhere, an as-yet-obscure 21st Century Richard Nixon will rise to prominence with the cry, “Who lost Turkey?” and “Who gave the Middle East to Iran?”

  2. michael brenner says:

    Developments within Syria, and in Turkey, may be rendering these pleadings from the usual suspects and their allies irrelevant in policy terms – if not in American political terms. By time Hillary gets sworn in, won’t the questions of armed intervention by the U.S. be moot? The Israeli propagandists, neo-cons, etc will continue to exhort her to “do something.’ But: she quickly will realize that there are no viable options; that she must concentrate on dealing with a country that is unravelling; and confront the implications of what likely will be Executive-Legislative deadlock for the next four years. Besides, a major international crisis would jeopardize Bill’s plans for a fun-filled return to the White House.
    Sadly, we have no contingency plans. Washington is locked into its Obama-Kerry fantasy strategy of manipulating all seven moving parts to get rid of Assad, marginalize the Salafists, wear down ISIL, keep Erdogan at bay, placate the Saudis by helping them kill Houthis, and equip the Israelis on the Netanyahu-Liebovitz illusory march to the Euphrates. The only variation under consideration is the neo-con one of bombing Assad and daring Putin not to start WW III. Both are pipe-dreams that soon will have to be recognized as such.
    Then what? Since nobody in and around official Washington has done any serious thinking about all of this, Hillary will be forced to start from Square One. That means convening a task force of her little chicks and Mother Hen Madeleine Albright – and that what’s his name young guy who carried her purse when Hillary “ran” State. Pray!

  3. Dubhaltach says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this bit:
    “Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry have long said there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. Unfortunately, Russia and Iran seem to think there is”
    Killing so many jihadis that they’re no longer a threat is definitely a solution. In fact I’d say it was the optimal solution.

  4. Tigermoth says:

    From Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister:
    “Going back to the statements made by US officials, including those who are actively serving in government and bear responsibility for their actions. We noted that by and large, their political outlook and manner of conducting international affairs betray that they lack a basic understanding that everything is interconnected in the modern world. Therefore, they shouldn’t count on trust-based and close cooperation with Russia after saying what they said about us, the people with whom they cooperate. Or, they have to be much more careful in what they say publicly. After such escapades, further cooperation with Russia will not necessarily be smooth sailing. All the more so, since Washington continues its sanctions policy.
    We have already told the US administration that we draw certain conclusions from this situation. Whether they want to or not, the Americans are changing the international reality in which they are accustomed to operating. This will negatively affect the atmosphere of their dialogue with us. Such excesses always have consequences.”
    IMO, it would appear that the Russians feel they have played along with the US for long enough. I would seem that the above article discounts the fact that the Russians aren’t going to roll over at this point. The Tu-214R arrived in Syria prior to the Aleppo offensive and I’m sure it was put to good use.
    “One of the most advanced Russian spy planes has arrived in the coastal province of Lattakia, the Fars news agency reported on Friday, citing military sources. As reported, the Russian Tupolev Tu-214R has arrived to the Hmeimim airbase outside the Syrian coastal city of Jableh in Southern Lattakia. Most likely, the aircraft will track terrorist movements around the country.
    “The aircraft is known to carry sensor packages to perform ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) missions: the antennae of the Tu-214R can intercept the signals emitted by the enemy systems (radars, aircraft, radios, combat vehicles, mobile phones etc) so as it can build the EOB (Electronic Order of Battle) of the enemy forces: where the enemy forces are operating, what kind of equipment they are using and, by eavesdropping into their radio/phone communications, what they are doing and what will be their next move.”
    Last week, the spokesman for the Russian President, Dmitry Peskhov, announced that sending more soldiers to Syria remains in place.
    “When the decision was made to cut the number of personnel of our aviation contingent in Syria, you remember the statement of both the Russian president and the military, who said that the temporary infrastructure in Syria remained and therefore the contingent could be increased very quickly, if necessary. This will be done in accordance with the relevant tasks,” Peskhov said.
    According to Dmitry Peskhov, “such prospects increasing Russian personnel in Syria were declared by the president rather long ago.”

  5. Freudenschade says:

    Slightly off topic: looks like Erdogan’s son is being investigated for money laundering.

  6. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iranians also say the same thing: “There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict…”.

  7. rakesh wahi says:

    an op ed can only be refuted by a more fact based op ed. (not sure it would be accepted – maybe if Gabbard wrote it)

  8. b says:

    The Ross/Tabler screed is a milder version of this Israeli pamphlet demanding that ISIS is kept alive to hurt Hizbullah and Iran. Who cares about a few dead in Europe …
    Comment: The destruction of Islamic State is a strategic mistake

    The Russians are said to beef up their air force in Syria very soon. Expect some 30+ new planes arriving to smash the opposition for good. The Jihadis shooting down the helicopter and desecrating the pilot bodies give the perfect excuse.

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    This is what goes for serious thinking:
    I think what this policy prescription is meant to achieve is to prolong Syria’s agony for as long as possible.

  10. Matt says:

    They’ll probably get their wish if HRC wins the election.

  11. Robert C says:

    I just want someone to tell me why I should lose sleep over an Iranian presence in the Med.

  12. Lemur says:

    This is worth a read for the Iranian POV.
    The differences between the Iranian and Russian approach, with their respective merits and disadvantages, is an interesting discussion.

  13. Matthew says:

    Robert C: I certainly don’t.

  14. ToivoS says:

    The reason the current battle in Aleppo is so critical is that if opens the chance that the Jihadists militias will be decisively defeated (at least as armed forces controlling defined territory, they will persist for some time as underground terrorist organizations).
    If those terrorists control well defined regions inside Syria when Hillary becomes president it means that she can turn those into “safe zones” and hence no fly zones. This will be the opening for her and her neocon backers to expand the war in Syria. So to your question: “then what?” Without borders (or “safe zones”) then there is little she can do. With borders then it becomes a base for further US intervention.

  15. Fred says:

    How much Iranian support for Assad can be funded with the $400,000,000 extortion payment made by the Obama administration?

  16. michael brenner says:

    Speaking candidly, I find it impossible to imagine what such a zone might look like. Hemmed in on all sides (both before and after ISIS is reduced to a rump terrorist group), how could it be anything but a Gaza strip for Salafists and camp followers? They would be totally depend on the good will of a mercurial Erdogan (himself fleeced of ambition) or under international supervision. Can we visualize al-Qaeda, al-Ahram and various other jihadis submitting to retina scans every time they wanted to venture beyond barbed wire borders?
    The complete failure of the O’Hanlon’s and Kerrys and Obamas to think through any outcome other the Assad’s fall and the triumphant arrival of “good guys’ into Damascus helps to explain why the Establishment will remain locked into a sterile policy under admission into an assisted living home liberates them from the ordeal of explaining yet another embarrassing failure.

  17. AK says:

    O’Hanlon is a hack of the first order. It’s been some years since I read reports from Brookings “scholars” with any regularity, but I recall him being consistently wrong on every prediction or policy proposal he put forth.

  18. steve says:

    I hope that things don’t get so bad with Hillary that we begin to look back on Obama’s foreign policy as an era of restraint and reason by comparison. Though I suspect she will be that bad.

  19. Anna says:

    This is an old publication (2008) but it is still quite relevant:
    “Russian-Israeli Mafia:McCain & Clinton Connections,” by WAYNE MADSEN

  20. Ghostship says:

    With what we now know from Wikileaks about Obama’s and Clinton’s refusal to enter into negotiation over Assad’s future back in 2012, I wonder if a good case could be made to prosecute them. As it is, until the United States pays Nicruagua $17 billion, the Washington Borg daren’t go near the ICJ.

  21. Brunswick says:

    It’s the Iranian’s money, “stolen” by the US in 1979.
    What makes “you guy’s” think you can steal and keep anything from anybody, anywhere?

  22. James Loughton says:

    The $400 million has been owed by the US to Iran since the fall of the Shah. The Shah’s government had prepaid for American aircraft and parts which they have never received.
    So no, insisting that the US pay its legitimate debt to Iran simultaneously with the prisoner release was hardly extortion.

  23. BraveNewWorld says:

    That’s plenty crazy, but as the Israeli papers keep telling me, what ever the Americans can do the Israelis can do better.

  24. michael brenner says:

    It’s THEIR money which he have illegally impounded for many years.

  25. Robert C says:

    Best 400million spent in a while if it goes to defeating ISIS.

  26. Chris Chuba says:

    The premise of the op-ed is that Assad has to be punished for violating the ceasefire, gag, cough, puke.
    The point of the ceasefire was to allow the non-Jihadist rebels to separate from the Jihadists like Al Nusra, they didn’t. They are also ignoring that Assad’s forces were attacked.
    Pushing terrorists into neighboring Turkey?
    They mentioned this about three times so this is a really big issue for them. I’m playing the world’s smallest violin after Turkey served as a highway to allow terrorists into Syria to begin with as well as supplying them with weapons and even military advisors. Are these guys trying to make us ill with this hypocrisy.
    “Mr. Putin is more interested in demonstrating that Russia and its friends are winning in Syria and the United States is losing. …Mr. Putin knows the United States will not take action to punish Russia for its support for the Assad government”
    I read this from Neocons all of the time and it still amazes me. They have convinced themselves that everyone else is trying to undermine the U.S. rather than look after themselves. Notice the child like need to ‘punish Russia’ for their impudence, daring to oppose the U.S. This is self-projection, Neocons want Russia to lose, this is very important to them. To turn all foreign policy where the U.S. is at the center and top of everyones list on all matters is pure narcissism. Should I build a dam in Bangladesh, yes, but only if it screws the U.S.

  27. turcopolier says:

    Robert C
    “400million spent” It was Iranian money that we had impounded 30 odd years ago. pl

  28. Fred says:

    Iran received this at the same time as they released these individuals. How do you think the Islamic Republic of Iran is going to present this outside of the US and how will that affect American foreign policy efforts?

  29. Tunde says:

    There must be some coordination going on; Roger Boyes at the Times had an op-Ed blaming Assad’s continued existence on Obama’s weakness and America’s lack of resolve militarily. If only Assad were removed, unicorn armies would magically sweep aside terrorism from the face of the earth. He then resurrects the bogeyman du jour of Western Europe-terrorism by migrant populations displaced from the Syrian conflict.
    (Putin is devilishly clever…..)

  30. Larry Kart says:

    How does Ross look himself in face in the mirror? What a pile of nonsense. That it is, or tries to be, “rational” in tone makes it much more insidious. I can see Ross weasel-like punim in my mind’s eye as I type. No doubt the Colonel can speak to this much better than I can, but I’ve been in meetings with some guys like this. As a psychiatrist archly said to me after I described such an encounter, “You have my permission to shoot him.”

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The sense of it is similar to what I gathered reading the Persian language sources online.
    I think the Russian Federation is always ready to conclude a suitable deal with US. But I think the Iranians have no such hopes, certainly not on Syria.

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    One has to ask Roger Boyce why he does not advocate UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to once again take up the “White Man’s Burden” and invade Iran, Iraq, Syria and run them just like Christ Church?

  33. turcopolier says:

    I decided long ago that colonialism ultimately benefits the colonized rather than the metropole. So, to hell with it! pl

  34. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    I know Ross and Tabler and many of their familiars. This dynamic duo is right up at the top as advertisements for “propaganda man.” pl

  35. Matthew says:

    Brunswick: History.

  36. Matthew says:

    Col: You are channeling Benjamin Disraeli now. Not a bad thing since Disraeli was England’s Most Interesting Prime Minister.

  37. LeaNder says:

    b, agreed. Nuances, Ross/Tabler have a slightly different target audience then Efraim Inbar. Maybe?
    Besides, I

  38. SmoothieX12 says:

    blaming Assad’s continued existence on Obama’s weakness and America’s lack of resolve militarily
    The broken record of beaten to death cliches emanating from mass-media and political “elites” is more than just lack of imagination, it is, as I stated not for once, a complete absence of situational awareness of outside world. It is also a complete, rather dramatic, almost to a state of primordial vacuum, absence of understanding of military force and of its application. This can happen to anyone who refuses to study real history, not some concocted narrative. It is totally legitimate, in fact, warranted to describe this state as Modus Operandi of current “elites”. Acting on false assumptions and then expecting a desired result. It is also another definition of insanity.

  39. SmoothieX12 says:

    Largely agree. Engels comes to mind immediately: “Despite her Slavic dirt and baseness, Russia still provides civilizing influence on her Middle Asian subjects”(c).

  40. Lemur says:

    I simply don’t understand why the West and America in particular must needs be an enemy of Iran. They’re the natural hegemon of the region with the most developed culture and industrial base, along with Syria. A sane US foreign policy would ditch the degenerate, terror funding Saudis, declare strict neutrality concerning rent seeking, scheming Israel, and make some sort of apology to Iran for the Shah and sicking Saddam on them. They’re not insane xenophobes. Iran cooperates with non Islamic countries that treat it equitable quite admirably. Shias have treated our middle eastern religious compatriots the best out of all the the Muslim sects.
    Shia Hezbollah fighters render honours to Christian icons and churches:
    Iran left to prosper would keep Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon stable, and function as a check on the destabilizing designs of Israel, Turkey, and the GCC. They could become a trusted integration point for China, the US, and Russia which would ameliorate the Carter Doctrine.

  41. All,
    A few thoughts on the very interesting pieces linked to on this thread. As I have no claims to be a Middle East expert, I may well be barking up the wrong tree.
    A key line in the in the piece by Aram Mizaei put up by ‘the Saker’ seems to me to be ‘Iran needs Syria and an access to its southern regions (Quneitra) to maintain its support for Lebanese Hezbollah.’
    One key purpose of the piece by Efraim Inbar on the ‘Jerusalem Post’ site appears to be defend the proposition that Hezbollah is some kind of ‘existential enemy’ of the West.
    What in fact arises here is a radical incompatibility between Iranian and Israeli security interests.
    As has been clear for a long time, the increasing range, accuracy and lethality of missiles which can strike Israel from hardened Hezbollah positions provides Iran with a ‘deterrent’ capability which it has every reason to feel it needs.
    The difference between being able to land a missile say, with an accuracy of half-a-kilometre, and an accuracy of 100, or even 20, metres is the difference between the ability to damage a society and totally to destroy it.
    For precisely that reasons, these improving – and purely ‘conventional’ capabilities pose an ‘existential threat’ to Israel. (As to the notion that ‘Iron Dome’ poses an effective counter, LOL.)
    This is not because Iran, and Hezbollah, cannot be ‘deterred’ from attack – which is patently not the case.
    However, a fundamental problem for Israel is maintaining the conviction in the minds of the educated and technologically sophisticated élites on which the country depends that they are better off bringing up their children under the shadow of Hezbollah missiles, rather than, say, in San Francisco.
    A problem, however, is that the attempts to destroy the ‘Shia Crescent’ by toppling Assad, coming on top of the toppling of that of Saddam, and then that of Gaddafi, have precipitated both the migration crisis and the turning of Sunni jihadism towards attacking soft targets in Europe.
    And both of these developments, although in a complex way, present something not all that far from an ‘existential threat’ to the continent.
    From a rational European point of view – also I think a rational American one – certain logics open up.
    And they point to a situation which used to be very familiar to the statesmen of ‘Perfidious Albion’ – when the shifting kaleidoscope of events means that one has strong common interests with erstwhile adversaries, while fundamental differences of interest open up with long-standing allies.
    At that point, of course, the erstwhile adversaries have strong interests in encouraging the perception of commonality of interest.
    The erstwhile allies – and also, those individuals and groups in our own countries who for various reasons are strongly invested in the long-standing alliances – have the strongest possible incentives to discourage it.
    Whatever their objective merits or lack of them, a key point about these ‘logics’ is that they are very simple, and read, essentially, as follows.
    Total destruction of the ‘Islamic State’ is now a key Western interest. This gives us a strong common interest with Putin’s Russia, the Syrian Government, and also the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    As to the notion that we should take to the ‘smelling salts’ over Assad’s use of ‘barrel bombs’ – these are serious matters, pious propaganda is out of place.
    These ‘logics’ imply a strong divergence of perceived interest with the Saudis and other ‘Gulfies’, and, critically Israel – so long as that country’s leaders believe that their security depends on the destruction of the Assad regime.
    In relation both to the Ross and Tabler piece, and also that by Efraim Inbar – certain dilemmas faced by Jews are critical.
    A central implication of the ‘logics’ I describe is that they put into a wholly new light the – largely successful – efforts of the leaderships of the Jewish ‘communities’ in the United States and Britain to define Jews as a ‘people’ with a right to ‘self-determination’ in Israel.
    If one accepts the ‘logics’, it is evident that Jews are left with a choice. One possible route is to seek to define the interests of Israel in a way radically different from its current leadership and ‘neocons’ like Ross and Tabler.
    Another is to attempt to revive older conceptions of a non-Zionist Jewish identity – conceptions which Zionists have been largely successful in destroying. Another is to revert to the notion that Jews should abandon conceptions of a distinctive Jewish identity altogether, and ‘assimilate’.
    Unsurprisingly, attempts to evade these ‘logics’ have led to a vast amount of ingenious apologetics – of these, the piece by Ross and Tabler is a rather undistinguished example.
    So, people continue to insist that there is a ‘third force’ of ‘moderate insurgents’, supporting which allows one to oppose Assad and the jihadists at the same time – even though this claim has been exposed as palpable nonsense.
    It is further argued that supporting Assad only strengthens the jihadists. It seems to me that the Efraim Inbar piece is simply trying on a new variant of this line of attack – asserting that, as it were, leaving the snake injured but not dead implies less of a terrorist threat to Europe, rather than more.
    The piece by Roger Boyes – who was a hack when I knew him slightly years ago and hasn’t I think changed much – is simply a reiteration of the standard British ‘borgist’ fare. The increasingly hysterical tone of this is, in my view, largely due to the patent fact that more and more people here find it ludicrous.
    The common Western habit of imputing motives, intentions and analyses to Putin without providing a shred of evidence to support them is not one I wish to imitate.
    (Really, does it often seem to me that MI6, the source of a good few of these stories in Britain, thinks one should do intelligence with an ouija board!).
    However, being speculative, one might argue that Putin may well be trying to finesse a range of objectives which are in inherent tension.
    The suggestion by Ross and Tabler that ‘Mr. Putin is more interested in demonstrating that Russia and its friends are winning in Syria and the United States is losing’ is, in my view, pure BS. The notion that getting others to ‘eat their spinach’ – to use Ms. Nuland’s immortal phrase – is wise statesmanship is not one Putin shares.
    Right from the start, he has tried to use the argument that Russia and the West have a common interest in combating jihadists as the basis for a rapprochement.
    Likewise, he has consistently cultivated good relations with Israel.
    In part, it would seem, this is because he hopes the Israelis may help, as it were, ‘call the dogs off’ in relation to the United States. But it is also material that Putin is not anti-Semitic. (Unlike the ideological heirs of the Lviv pogrom, with whom Ms. Nuland likes to make common cause.)
    A really difficult tension to finesse, clearly, has been that between seeking agreement with the United States, and allowing that country and its allies to provide equipment, training and organisation to the anti-Assad forces.
    But then, this is a complicated issue. Whatever the success or failure of Putin’s approach to the United States government, the spectacle – referred to in the Aram Mizaei piece – of the United States asking the Russians not to target al-Nusra positions represents, as far as many people in Britain are concerned, a most massive ‘information wars’ own goal on the part of the ‘borg’.
    How arguments on these matters between Putin and his close associates have developed – and it is possible that there is a very substantial divergence of views between, for instance, Patrushev, Sergei Ivanov, and Lavrov – is an interesting question.
    (Likewise, what these people say to each other, when they discuss the relative merits of a Clinton and Trump presidency, and whether it may or may not be sensible covertly to ‘put an oar in’ to influence the outcome, is an interesting question.)
    It is not a question on which one can expect any enlightenment from ‘borgists’ like Ross and Tabler, or Boyes.
    Faced by the sudden realisation that what they had assumed was an unquestionable ideological ‘hegemony’ may be vulnerable – something dramatised by the ‘Brexit’ result – a ‘rational’ strategy is to attempt to play to a traditional ‘Cold War’ Russophobia.
    This is also a reason why, although I hear the arguments made by those on SST who suggest that, if elected, Hillary Clinton may respond to the climate in the United States which is patently averse to fresh foreign adventures, I am not persuaded.
    I think that, bizarrely, it is because the ‘neocons’ with whom she is totally identified – and on whose financial backers she has been totally dependent – are correct in perceiving an ‘existential threat’ to Israel, that confidence that she will be restrained in what she does lacks any basis.
    So I stick by my argument that ‘lesser evilism’ says: vote Trump.

  42. Fred says:

    “I simply don’t understand why the West and America in particular must needs be an enemy of…”
    We don’t, neither do we need to be anyone’s permanent friend.

  43. SmoothieX12 says:

    O’Hanlon is a hack of the first order
    Brookings as a whole is a collection of hacks. Moreover, most of US think-tankdom is a collection of hacks. Some exceptions do exist but those are far and between.

  44. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think it is rather more interesting to ask: “Why is EU enemy of Iran?”
    How did that happen?

  45. bth says:

    The odds Ross and Tabler’s recommendations being followed by Obama, Hillary or Trump are absolutely zero. The Israelis have become tone deaf to the mood of the American people with regards the Middle East.
    Likely US course of action is continued airstrikes on ISIS under any US administration, continued US support of an unofficial Kurdish government in Syria and Iraq both financially and covertly. Let the Russians, Syrian government and Iranians deal with Nusra et al while we pretend not to notice. Our ME allies wanted Kerry to carry the proposal (as unlikely as it was to be accepted) to Putin. It was leaked, presented and rejected. Perhaps the Russians will have a practical counter, but I don’t think the US administration has the time or will to propose another even if prodded by its ME allies.
    Separately IS will now take years to bring down. Iraq offensive on IS will persist but push to Raqqa won’t happen now as an aligned effort. Russia and US could have teamed up to finish IS but that train left the station. Sadly. I cannot help but fear both Russia and the US are vulnerable to a 911 redux from IS or AQ.

  46. Tunde says:

    I think you touch on an interesting point ; Many actors to the “peace of Syria ” play (to paraphrase Churchill) are involved with very different end states in mind.
    From an Israeli perspective, Iran-Hizb’u’allah represent “existential” threats in public discourse, but more likely in private, make a very dangerous strategic conundrum to Israeli planners. Chaos in Syria leads to a cumulative pressure on the Jewish psyche to secure the homeland. How ? Terror.
    What I understand from your post is that Likud and Bibi have successfully played on these “existential” fears in the Jewish psyche to camouflage their right wing agenda. Instability in Syria feeds into the narrative that Europe is under Muslim attack and is therefore not safe for Jewry (cf Netanyahu’s remarks about France). Hence the only safe haven for Jews is Israel.
    I see a tension between this political/ideological posture as used in the political arena in Israel and the military/securocracy assessment of the threat of Iran-Hizb’u’allah. Netanyahu and Erdogan have a lot in common, politically and militarily.

  47. Tunde,
    I think you raise a range of very interesting questions.
    One point. It is important to keep in mind that the ‘suicide pact’ between Israel and the United States works both ways. So American ‘neoconservatives’ adopted the ‘Moby Dick’ approach to adversaries.
    Invariably, these are seen as figure of monstrous malice, directed at oneself – and equally invariably, it is assumed that the appropriate response is to destroy them.
    This is also Netanyahu’s approach. And the result of the collaboration between him and American ‘neoconservatives’ – aided and abetted, of course, by my own country – has been one disaster after another.
    Quite patently, it is not the approach of leading figures in the Israeli ‘securitocracy’.
    Your phrase ‘a very dangerous strategic conundrum’ is I think peculiarly apt. Many members of the ‘securitocracy’ are very well aware that the ‘name of the game’ for Israel has to be trying to get ‘devil and deep blue sea’, ‘rock and hard place’ choices right.
    A lot of them clearly understand that although the ‘two-state solution’ has always had massive problems, the alternative – indefinite occupation of the West Bank – is a disaster, not least because it is a moral disaster: as was well brought out in a ‘Politico’ piece entitled ‘Netanyahu vs. the Generals’ last month.
    (See .)
    But as there now clearly is not going to be a ‘two-state solution’, it is not obvious to me how they see the ‘end state’.
    As to the question of Netanyahu’s successful playing on Jewish fears, this needs more thought.
    But, in brief, he has done a great deal to create a situation where, in Britain, one has a polarisation. There is an increasing propensity for the – very many – people of Jewish origin in Britain who have some identification with Israel but are deeply uneasy about what that country has become to retreat into silence, and/or move away from ‘Jewish’ identity.
    One is then left with a ‘Jewish community’ who regard it as their role to be cheerleaders and apologists for the Netanyahu brand of Zionism, or whose questioning of it is insipid and ineffectual: read the ‘Jewish Chronicle’.
    Conspicuous by its absence is any serious thinking about an ‘end state’.

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