After going through all the valid reasons for the US to be in Syria, Caroline goes on to shed some badly needed silver lining, and it’s very bright, blindingly so.
COLUMN ONE: TRUMP PUSHES PAST OBAMA’S LEGACIES
BUT THERE ARE two significant upsides to the US move which together outweigh the downside, at least as far as Israel is concerned.
First, by leaving Syria, the US is abandoning Obama’s pro-Iranian policy once and for all. Further indication that this is part of a far-reaching strategic shift rather than a dangerous move by an impulsive president came with a Hadashot News report Wednesday night that senior US officials told Israel this week that Washington will align its policy towards Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with Israel’s position if Hezbollah receives a larger role in the next Lebanese government than it enjoyed in the previous one.
Hezbollah and its allies won a majority of the seats in May’s parliamentary elections. Negotiations towards a new government have been deadlocked over Hezbollah’s demands for expanded portfolios.
Obama’s Lebanon policy – to support the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and the LAF – was part of his overall policy to empower Iran at the expense of Israel and the Sunni Arab states. Until now, guided by the Pentagon, the Trump administration has maintained this policy, much to Israel’s distress.
The advantage Israel gains from US abandonment of the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and the LAF far outweighs the blow it takes from the withdrawal of US forces from Syria. If the US abandons its support for the LAF and the Lebanese government, Israel will be able to defeat Hezbollah in war.
PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement Thursday morning revealed the second upside of Trump’s decision.
Netanyahu said: “We will continue to act in Syria to prevent Iran’s effort to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not reducing our efforts; we will increase our efforts.”
He added that, “I know that we do so with the full support and backing of the US.”
If the US backs Israel in war against Iran and Hezbollah by, among other things, deterring Russia and Turkey from getting involved; defending Israel at the UN; and supplying it with the weapons and other indirect support it needs to succeed – and it gives Israel a green light to attack the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and military – then Trump’s move represents a full abandonment of Obama’s anti-Israel, pro-Iranian policies.
Haley explained on Tuesday that, “The world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support of Israel, its people and its security. That is an unshakable bond between our two peoples. And it is that bond – more than anything else – that makes peace possible.”
By abandoning the anti-Israel fake “peace process” and striking out on a new path based on reality, and by walking away from Obama’s pro-Iran policies in Syria and Lebanon and backing Israel in its efforts to defeat its enemies, the Trump administration is demonstrating what pro-Israel really means. So long as it is true to its word, Israel is safer and stronger for it.