By Ted Belman
A week ago I wrote,
While Robert Fisk writes that Israel prefers the devil it knows in Syria, Robert Rabil and Walid Phares writing in American Thinker, are silent on the matter. It seems to me that Israel should be backing the rebels in a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia to thwart Iran.
Michael Oren set the record sraight in this letter to the WSJ,
- This is the second time, a recent Journal article (“Syrian Violence Tests U.S.,” page one, June 3) asserts that Israel has expressed fears of instability in Syria if leader Bashar al-Assad is overthrown. I emphatically denied this the first time (“U.S. Seeks to Raise Heat on Syria,” page one, April 25) and categorically deny it again. Israel has expressed no such concerns. Allied with Iran, Mr. Assad has helped supply 55,000 rockets to Hezbollah and 10,000 to Hamas, very likely established a clandestine nuclear arms program and profoundly destabilized the region. The violence he has unleashed on his own people demonstrating for freedoms confirms Israel’s fears that the devil we know in Syria is worse than the devil we don’t.
You might be interested to know what prompted such a letter.
Omri Ceren explains,
There’s not much mystery here. The White House didn’t want to give up its “reformer”-based engagement fetish with Assad, but they couldn’t be seen as blindingly hypocritical on Libya/Syria. So they invented the idea that the Israelis were pressuring them to maintain stability – a nice fig leaf that simultaneously got them off the hook and made their Israeli frenemies look bad.
Oren was calling reporters up in DC OVER A MONTH AGO to say that the White House was making up Israeli opposition. Apparently that wasn’t enough to stem the tide of disinformation, ergo this op-ed. He must have been straining at the leash for a while to be allowed to go public with it.
We talk about how the Obama administration tries to undermine Israel in all kinds of complicated ways, and there’s debate about linkage, and so on. But on this issue they were just flat out, disgustingly, using
Israel as a fig leaf.