A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 24, 2011- The Impact On Israel on Recent Events
The news from Israel remains largely uneventful, with the major story the last few days surrounding gambling and fixed soccer matches. Of course, the quiet is unfortunately a little misleading, since events in the world that will effect Israel are evolving quickly. These events will have a major, if not fully understood, impact on Israel in the coming year.
There are so many areas that need to be pondered, and so few answers. Let's look at a few... First, there is Syria. Obviously, the outcome there is still an unknown. However, regardless of the outcome, any faint chance an agreement could be reached with Syria any time in the next few years, is ancient history. Assad can now be seen for the brutal dictator that he. Assad is not a partner for an agreement. Whatever legitimacy the Syrian regime had is gone. If the regime does fall, the strategic consequences for Israel could be very positive. As it is unlikely a Sunni regime would continue it's ties to either Iran or Hezbollah. On the other hand, such a regime might feel the need to prove it's anti-Israeli Bona-fides. In the end, however, Israelis and Israel supporters should hope that Assad does not survive. Anyone who opens up with tank fire on his own people should not be allowed to remain in power.
When it come to Egypt, there no answers at all at this moment. It is unclear when elections are going to be held, who is running and certainly, who is going to win. An interesting development in the past few days within the Muslim brotherhood, in which some of the younger members have now split and formed a new secular party.
There are two areas, a little further afield, that are important as well. First is what is happening in Pakistan. Fareed Zacharia had a frightening piece in Thursday's Washington Post called The Radicaliation of Pakistn. Zacharia's two main and related points were: 1) The Pakistani military, which used to be a strong secular institution in Pakistan, has now become increasingly Islamist. 2) This has also resulted in a changed perception of the military, from being obsessed with India, to being obsessed with the idea that the United States is now the enemy. What are the implications of an ever more Islamist, nuclear armed Pakistan for Israel? It is hard to say, but it can't be good.
Finally, I would like to spend a moment looking at the political events in the United States, and what clearly seems to be a return of a serious isolationist strain among Republican Presidential candidates. Yes, they all make the requisite pro-Israel statements. Unfortunately, an America that even partially withdraws from the world could have very serious consequences for Israel.
Finally we need to remember that tomorrow it is five years since Gilad Shalit became a prisoner of Hamas. Even the White House issued a statement calling for his relaase today.