Israel’s strategy in Syria

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Israel’s strategy in Syria

 By Ray Hanania

Democracy isn’t Israel’s priority in Syria, reflecting the lack of true democracy in Israel itself.

So when Israeli fighter jets violated international airspace for the umpteenth time, this time attacking targets across the border in Syria, they were not doing so to help bring democracy to the Middle East.

As most honest people know, Israel is far from a true democracy and more like an apartheid state which bases its social and political policies on race and religion.

But what is Israel trying to achieve by bombing what it describes as “military targets” in Syria that in the end always seems to result in the loss of a lot of civilian lives in the unprovoked missile strikes?
From a purely selfish Israeli position – is there any other, I wonder? – Israel would rather that President Bashar Al-Assad remain in power as a dictator than have him replaced by anyone else. The choices come down to two possibilities: an Arab democratic front that would promote democracy and freedom one day in Syria, or the Al-Qaeda-based religious fanatics that have a foothold in many countries in the Middle East.

No one wants the Al-Qaeda fanatics to expand their foothold in the Middle East. The Al-Qaeda fanatics are a direct outgrowth of anti-Arab policies pursued by the United States and the West in the Middle East and reflect the fundamental and deep-seated anger that Western policies have provoked among otherwise good people.

America’s double standards and hypocritical policies in the Middle East, specifically with respect to Israel, have fueled the growth of Al-Qaeda and other extremist religious movements that falsely claim to represent Islam.
But the bigger threat to Israel is the growth of democracy in the Arab world. If the Arab world were ever to become a democracy, it would expose Israel as the democracy fraud that it is.

Israel fears the Arab Spring because the Arab Spring augments the voices of freedom and calls for freedom throughout the region, not just in the Arab world, but in Israel too. And Israel is one of the most oppressive country’s in the Middle East. Although most Jewish citizens of Israel enjoy unprecedented freedoms and benefits from the state, non-Jews suffer simply because they are non-Jews. Christian Arabs and Muslim Arabs are victimized by Israel both as so-called “citizens” and as imprisoned victims in the occupied lands.

So why is Israel attacking Syria? Not to hurt the dictator Bashar Al-Assad, but rather to help him.

Israel’s two military assaults in violation of international law – again, what else is new? – have undercut the rebels who are seeking to replace the Assad dictatorship with an elected democratic government.

Assad has survived longer than any target of the Arab Spring push for democracy simply because of Israel. Although Syria does a lot of yelling and screaming about the “Zionist entity” and slamming Israel for its pathetic human rights record and its oppression of the Palestinians, Syria has done absolutely nothing to stop Israel.

In fact, Syria is exactly the kind of Arab confrontation state Israel needs next to its borders. Israel can use the Syrian ruse as a basis to build up its financial graft in the West. Israel screams and yells as much as Syria does, but Israel gets billions of American tax dollars and military assault systems in exchange.

Without a military threat, Israel would not exist as a nation. It can’t survive in peace. Israel can only exist in continued conflict, regional strife and on the brink of war. Without the threats – exaggerated or otherwise – Israel would have no reason to exist. American taxpayers might one day wake up and see Israel for what it really is, a modern-day nation that has fine-tuned and systematized oppression, discrimination and brutality.

If Israel did not have an “enemy,” it would have no friends. So Israel uses “threats” like Syria to bully Western countries into giving it everything it demands, from money to international policy support for its expansionist brutality against Palestinian civilians.

If Iranian or Syrian war planes had crossed into Israel and bombed military targets, the United States would have leapt up to defend Israel and fight its battles.

But because it has created the shroud of a false threat around itself, Israel can, at will, violate international laws and attack any nation for any reason, and still be guaranteed the backing of Western powers.

So Israel attacked Syria to help Assad regain his power base in Syria, and undermine the rebels who have fought valiantly to oust their oppressor.

It’s a good lesson for the Arabs, though. Before they can bring democracy to the Arab world, they have to bring true democracy to Israel, the military engine that fuels all of the region’s uncertainty and instability.

Israel knows that. They also know that without Assad, it would be more difficult for them to claim to be the victim when in fact Israel is the greatest oppressor of human rights in the Middle East.

— Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at or follow him on Twitter @RayHanania

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania