Can Israel Play a Regional Role?

EPC | 01 Oct 2014

We can say that Israel today is facing a unique opportunity as a result of regional events. Wasting a chance that provides Israel with common interests in the region cannot be forgiven. There are a series of steps within Israel’s reach that enable it to play a regional role to establish its position for generations to come. The indifference by Israeli decision-makers to exploit available opportunities in the region is hard to understand. The crumbling colonial borders in Iraq and Syria and the possibility of establishing a Kurdish state provides Israel with a real opportunity to cooperate with moderate Arab states in facing extreme organizations because Israel has a security and economic power which it can employ to serve regional security. On the other hand, the growing threats by radical Islam in the Middle East have forced most Arab countries to look for stability. The resolve of moderate Arab states has made a bulwark against the extreme religious threat. These countries also realize the need to confront religious violence, which poses a threat for demarcation and stable countries in the region. Israel’s participation to find stability in the region will increase its revenues, open new markets for its goods and meet the Israeli youth’s desire in a welfare state with equal rights. Therefore, Israel’s need to bolster its military, information, security and economic capabilities in the region is an existential one based on common strategic interests. But how did Israeli authorities respond to this opportunity? They are responding by building more settlements, enacting undemocratic laws, turning their backs to the West and the regional opportunity for cooperation with moderate Arab states! Despite the available opportunities for Israel to engage and build confidence with countries in the region, it seems that the message conveyed to the chiefs of the five powerful agencies in Israel - the army, the Shin Bet, the Mossad, the Police and the judiciary – is no to taking the initiative and action in the region. The majority of former security officials do not understand how can Israel hide behind building settlements and stand helpless in front of the opportunity of the century. The dynamic of time is so important. American President Barack Obama once considered Recep Tayyip Erdogan one of the closest five leaders in the world. After sometime Erdogan, however, revealed his extremism and the Americans moved to cooperate with his Kurdish enemies. This dynamic provides Israel with a big opportunity today. Israel, however, is cornered and Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu is utilizing the regional desire to cooperate with Israel to boost settlements and racism. Because there is no one to pressure him in the region now, which means that wasting the available opportunity is a huge loss. Source:By Sefi Rachlevsky

Image Source: Reuters Pictures

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