Israel Prepping for Any Possibility Along Border with Syria

February 22, 2013 11:33 am 1 comment

IDF soldier participating in a military drill in the Golan Heights, simulating a battle on Israel's northeastern border. Photo: IDF.

The Syrian civil war has raged for two years, with Israel more or less avoiding a spillover of hostilities. But recent months have seen minor escalations, and with Syrian rebels battling Bashar al-Assad’s government forces as well as Hezbollah near Israel’s border with Syria, fears that the country’s war could become Israel’s are real. A new fence, more troops and the deployment of multiple Iron Dome defense systems has not allayed fears that violence could erupt on the Israeli side at any moment. “Things can change dramatically in hours,” Kobi Marom, a resident of the Golan Heights ski village, Neve Ativ, and reserve Army colonel, told Christian Science Monitor. “We are trying to be prepared for a new situation in the region.” Many in Israel see the northern threat as a small price to pay for the ultimate payoff, the fall of the Assad regime. This would sever the “Shiite crescent” that stretches from Tehran, through Syria and into Lebanon. Others remain hesitant, unsure of what will happen when Assad falls and all that’s left are varying rebel groups fighting to claim power. “The main question is the day after,” says Bernadetta Berti, a fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “From the Israeli perspective, a Syria not ruled by Assad is something that it should look upon favorably, but from my perspective the day after, Assad will be complicated.” Another concern for Israel is the movement of chemical and biological weapons from Syria into Lebanon. Israeli officials have made it clear they won’t stand for such actions, calling it a “red line” and, though keeping with its official policy of making no public comment on the matter, a recent strike on a weapons convoy is thought to have been carried out by the Jewish state. One Israeli Middle East analyst told the Christian Science Monitor that Israel risks becoming embroiled in the Syrian fighting, much like Israel became embroiled in the Lebanon civil war, culminating with an invasion in 1982. “If you draw a red line, you will have to enforce that red line, and that will push you into the conflict,” says Guy Bechor, a Middle East historian at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. “We have been there in Lebanon trapped in between religions and sects. This is not our war.” Joshua Mitnick, the reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, visited the Alonei Habashan farming cooperative, located just a quarter of a mile from Israel’s border with Syria, and reported that residents there are readying themselves for anything.  The main gate is closed at night and residents told him they are locking their doors for the first time for fear of infiltration. “We will get hit first,” Yiska Dekel, chairwoman of the local board, told him. According to Mitnick Israeli analysts believe the best-case scenario for a post-Assad Syria would be a Sunni-dominated government with ties to Turkey and the Gulf. But right now the immediate concern is security. “I hope the Army has a plan for a security zone,” says a security officer at a Golan Heights Israeli community who declined to give his name because he is subject to the Army. “I don’t like it, but if no one gets control over Syria, we’ll have no alternative.”

1 Comment

  • There are about 180,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey — the vast majority of whom are ethnic Turks,not Arabs-but Turks who arabized after rejecting the secular reforms of Ataturk..and were caught behind the line drawn to create a French mandate.
    Millions of these arabized Turks reside in Syria..Convetion had it that only 10,000 or so were Turkish speaking this is now seen as a gross understatement..it seems that many of the refugees are familiar with Turkish words and phrases and at least still a rudimentary understanding of Turkish..as many American Jews have a familiarity with some Yiddish. The Turkish roots were never as suppressed as supposed.
    as part of the Syrian Sunni community they nevertheles intermarried among themselves and attended Sunni mosques that were in fact Turkish in congregants.Turkey will never again abandon these prodigal children who abandonded a culture.Turkish influence will remain strong.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.