Tony Greenstein | 29 June 2015 | Post Views:

Defense minister says Jerusalem assists insurgents in
exchange for promise Druze will be kept out of harm’s way
By Raphael
June 29, 2015, 2:26 pm 10
Druze watching fighting over border
 When your whole existence is one long lie, it’s no surprise if your
lies begin to catch up with you.   In my
first article on collaboration between Israel and ISIS
Supports ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria
Syrian-rebels-in Idlib

I wrote about the arrest of Sedki al-Maket, a Druze living on the Golan
Heights (which Israel illegally annexed from Syria) for exposing Israel’s

Sedki filmed Israel soldiers handing over boxes of ammunition to
al-Nusra and this footage was given to the Syrian regime which broadcast it on
TV.  I based this on an article from
Richard Silversteine Israel Secretly Arrests Golani Druze, Accusing Him of
Exposing Rebel-IDF Collaboration

Israeli military vehicle fired on

I also quoted from an article in Ha’aretz  in which a senior officer in the Northern Command was quoted as saying that ‘IDF Northern Command officer says he thinks the
U.S.-led coalition intervened too early against the Sunni militants, and ‘not
necessarily in the right direction.’ 

also cited an article from the Jerusalem Post quoting the commander of the
Syrian Armed forces Lt. General Ali Abdulla Ayoub that Israel working with ISIS
and al-Qaida 

Aftermath of Israeli airstrike nr Damascus

There is no doubt that Israeli leaders and
military were unhappy about the United State focussing on ISIS when in their
eyes the enemy was Iran and what they called the Shi’ite Crescent.  This has become crystallised around the
nuclear agreement that Obama is trying to negotiate with Iran.  During the Israeli election campaign,
Netanyahu made an unprecedented attempt to undermine Obama by openly allying
with his Republican critics by addressing Congress directly.

FSA fighters

The problem for the US is of course Iran is
crucial to the defence of the Iraqi state. 
Only the Shi’ite militias and their Iranian sponsor stands between an
ISIS victory and the demise of the Iraqi state. 
The Iraqi state has proved itself incapable of defeating ISIS for a
whole series of reasons.  It’s army
consists of thousands of ghost soldiers who don’t exist, many of those who do
exist pay part of their salaries to officers in order not to have to actually take
part in its activities, the supply of weapons and provisions to those who do
fight often leaves a lot to be desired, it lacks motivation etc.  Iraq is a Shi’ite sectarian state that has
failed to incorporate its Sunni citizens and has, in many cases, forced them
into the tender hands of ISIS.  Until the
US cuts its losses in Iraq it is caught between a rock and a hard place.

The same is true, to a lesser extent in
Syria.  The ‘moderate’ armed opposition
doesn’t exist and apart from the Kurds in the North, the anti-Assad coalition
is made up of ISIS and al-Qaeda.  Israel is
not unhappy about this, the US is unhappy but it unable to do a great deal    apart from bomb ISIS.  A strategy that is useless without forces on
the ground.

Israel has always wanted to see a Syria
divided into its confessional components. 
The US may indeed settle for this but it is not happy about ISIS coming
out on top, not least because the Saudi regime may be next on ISIS’s menu.

Tony Greenstein

Israel acknowledges it is helping Syrian rebel fighters

Defense minister says Jerusalem assists insurgents in
exchange for promise Druze will be kept out of harm’s way
By Raphael
June 29, 2015, 2:26 pm 10
Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday that Israel has been providing aid to Syrian
rebels, thus keeping the Druze in Syria out of immediate danger. Israeli
officials have previously balked at confirming on the record that the country
has been helping forces that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar
a briefing with Israel’s diplomatic correspondents at the IDF’s headquarters in
Tel Aviv, Ya’alon said that Israel’s ongoing humanitarian assistance to Syrian
rebel fighters, a source of growing conflict between Israel and its own Druze
population, safeguards the minority population in Syria.
assisted them under two conditions,”
Ya’alon said of the Israeli medical aid to
the Syrian rebels, some of whom are presumably fighting with al-Qaeda affiliate
al-Nusra Front to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. “That they don’t get
too close to the border, and that they don’t touch the Druze.”

Druze on Israel’s side of the Golan, Ya’alon charged, acted “irresponsibly”
last week by attacking
an Israeli ambulance
carrying wounded Syrian rebel fighters. One person was
killed and another wounded during what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed
a “lynching.” The person in the Israeli ambulance was not affiliated with the
al-Nusra Front, and his death would provoke calls for revenge, Ya’alon
has treated over 1,000 wounded Syrians in its hospitals since the onset of the
civil war in 2011.
will continue to act with sensitivity regarding the Druze, Ya’alon said. “On
the other side — the rebels on the other side feel that we’re acting
sensitively,” he said.

has provided humanitarian assistance to wounded Syrian fighters located near
the shared border since the civil war stated, the defense minister said. He
said that such aid is extended under two conditions – that the fighters don’t
let Islamic extremists to get close to the border, and that they don’t hurt the
local Druze population.

An IDF ambulance that was attacked by Druze Israeli residents in the Golan Heights as it ferried Syrian war casualties for medical treatment in Israel, June 22, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
policy vis-à-vis the Druze in Syria “is very complicated and sensitive,”
Ya’alon said, adding that it is not in the rebels’ interest to publicize the
fact that Israel assists them.

general policy is that we’re not getting involved in the Syrian war,”
stressed, although there were certain red lines Israel would act to maintain,
such as the smuggling of so-called game-changing weapons to Israel’s enemies.
will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty or even accidental fire from
Syria into our territory. We will act immediately to strike at those who plant
explosives near the border or fire at us,”
he declared.
also reiterated his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, repeating
his belief
that there will not be a permanent peace deal “in our
he said, was not because of any Israeli objection to Palestinian statehood, but
rather due to the refusal of the Palestinian leadership to negotiate or make
the necessary concessions.
the years, Jerusalem has taken several steps in a bid to renew the diplomatic
process, including freezing settlement construction and releasing Palestinian
terrorists, and has accepted in principle a US-brokered framework agreement,
but Ramallah was and remains unwilling to negotiate earnestly, he said.
ball is not in our court,”
Ya’alon declared. “There is much to do to advance
issues, but whoever believes that with all kinds of pressure [from the
international community] a permanent agreement can be imposed is mistaken.”

than merely maintain the “status quo,” Ya’alon said, both sides could do much
to find a “modus vivendi” to improve the lives of Palestinians living in the
West Bank.
the Iranian nuclear negotiations, Ya’alon said that he believes the world
powers will sign
a “bad” deal with Tehran
, “if not this week then in the near future.”
prospective agreement would not freeze Iran’s military nuclear program for a
decade, as not a single facility would be closed and no centrifuges would be
dismantled, he said.
if there are inspections, they will only be in those facilities that the
Iranian agree to,”
he said, adding that Tehran has for decades managed to
mislead inspectors, for instance by building a large secret enrichment facility
in Qom.
this regime is emboldened by the sanctions relief [it is to receive as part of
the deal, which will pump billions of dollars into the economy] before the
10-year period is over, then who will guarantee that they won’t try to break
out to [reach for a bomb]?”
he said.
and the US differ fundamentally on the Iranian issue, he said. “They see Iran
as a part of the solution; we see it as part of the problem.”

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Tony Greenstein

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