The Danger of Failed States Surrounding Israel

Middle East Illustration

Four months into the war in Gaza and the cafés in Tel Aviv are full. It’s nearly impossible to find a spot in trendy restaurants on weekends. Yet no one should be mistaken. Israel is not back to normal.  A radio or television plays in the background of nearly every café and shop, and when […]

Iran’s “Controlled Insurgency” against the US in Syria and Iraq

US soldiers in eastern Syria, 2019. Photo credit: ABACA via Reuters Connect.

In the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th and during Israel’s counter-offensive into Gaza, Iranian proxy militias in Iraq and Syria have escalated attacks on US positions in both countries. Fully 60 such attacks have taken place against US forces since October 7. 56 American personnel have suffered injuries in these attacks […]

How To Support the Latest Revolt in Syria

A protest against President Bashar al-Assad in Sweida, Syria, September 8, 2023. Photo credit: Suwayda 24/Handout via REUTERS

On August 20, a majority of the previously quiescent Druze minority in Syria moved to open revolt. Chanting slogans to topple the government, demolishing statues of Bashar al-Assad and tearing down his billboard portraits, thousands of protestors spread from the main square of the provincial capital of Sweida to most Druze townlets and villages. On […]

The Druze in Israel: A Silent Minority Begins to Speak Out

Druze in the Golan town of Majdal Shams look out at the demilitarized zone separating Israel and Syria. Photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Protests in Israel are nothing new, but those on the Golan Heights this June were different.  The government, as part of its clean energy program, had designated the Golan Heights for wind turbine projects. When construction began in June, the Druze on the Golan erupted in mass protests, attracting support from their coreligionists in the […]

Did Israel Lose the Syrian War? Not Yet

Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Photo credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Ehud Yaari’s “How Israel Lost the Syrian War” in The Jerusalem Strategic Tribune provides unequaled insight into Israel’s and other states’ actions during the  Syrian civil war. He describes Israel’s tactical successes, noting that IRGC Leader Suleimani’s “original plan [to set up a major new rocket and missile front aimed at Israel] for now is […]

Assessing Israel’s ongoing campaign against Iran in Syria

Photo credit: Morteza Nikoubazl via Reuters Connect

Since 2013  – and more intensely since 2017 – Israel has been conducting an active military and intelligence campaign against Iran’s presence in Syria, in addition to the ongoing operations against Iran’s nuclear effort. Doubts have been raised as to the long-term ability of this strategy to prevent Iran from sustaining and extending its grip […]

How Israel Lost the Syrian Civil War

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, May 2023. Photo credit: IMAGO/APAimages via Reuters Connect

Apart from the Syrian people themselves, Israel comes out of the 12 years of civil war in Syria as the biggest loser. The survival of the Assad regime, closely allied with Iran, amounts to nothing short of an Israeli strategic failure.  Assad’s survival turns Iran into Israel’s next-door neighbor, exercising growing influence on the rebuilding of Syria’s armed forces. It allows for land corridors through Iraq and (via […]

Security Challenges Facing the New Israeli Government

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo credit: Reuters

The State of Israel is not required by law to adopt a national security strategy. But the need for such a document has been often raised, and several efforts have been made to write one. In October 1953, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion presented a long disquisition on Israel’s security needs to the Cabinet, which he […]