Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Israelis Thursday night to stay calm despite the likelihood of a U.S. strike on Syria, reassuring the country, “At present there is no need to change daily routines.”
Following a meeting with defense officials and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the Prime Minister stated on a YouTube video, “Despite the low assessment regarding Israel’s involvement in what is going on in Syria, we decided to deploy Iron Dome batteries as well as our other intercept systems. We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But I would like to reiterate, if anyone one tries to harm Israel’s citizens, the IDF will respond very strongly.”
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said the IDF is “ready for any scenario.”
The calm contrasts with near-panic reaction by some citizens earlier this week when President Barack Obama all but issued a formal invitation to a war, virtually announcing that the United States would attack Syria by Thursday night.
All that was missing on the invitation was, “Please dress accordingly. Black tie optional.”
Britain already had nudged President Barack Obama to go to war, and the President’s aides told news sources that a strike was inevitable. Britain got cold feet and decided maybe it should consult with the House of Commons.
It voted late Thursday night voted 285-272 against the Government’s motion on the principle of military intervention in Syria, and Prime Minister David Cameron, after having previously said a military strike is necessary to prevent future chemical warfare, stated after the vote, “I get that, and the government will act accordingly.”
Now, Obama looks like a jerk after beating the war drums and then losing the drumsticks.
He went out on the limb several weeks ago when he said that he would intervene militarily in Syria if chemical weapons were used. Assad used them again an again, 13 times by one count, but Obama backed off because there was no “conclusive proof” that his loyalists, not the rebels, deployed poison gas.
The came last week’s catastrophe and President Obama’s bravado that made him King for Day in Western media until people started asking questions.
One of them might be no other than the man himself, who in 2007 quoted a former professor of constitutional law as saying, “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Of course, Obama could say that the security of the United States is threatened by the Assad regime’s use of nerve gas to kill more than 1,000 Syrians.
The Obama administration, like others before, have no trouble declaring that moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would endanger national security, but the rules of the game change when it comes to Syria.
Russia and China, of course, bitterly oppose the idea of an attack, and Russia sent an anti-submarine ship to the Mediterranean Sea to show its strength. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated, “External military intervention is contrary to the U.N. charter aims and the basic norms governing international relations and could exacerbate instability in the Middle East.”
Iran, of course, promises to preserve stability by assisting Assad and blow up any U.S. jets that come near Syria, where Assad’s military’s knees are shaking so much that it is hurriedly removing Scud missiles from bases that might be targeted by the United States.
Everyone is trying to show he is stronger than the other, and everyone is threatening the other. Everyone is bluffing, and every government involved in this mess has lost its marbles, except for Israel. Even though Israel stands to lose the most if Assad, who already can be considered off his rocker, decides to use the opportunity of certain death to destroy Israel along the way, it feels secure.
Little Israel is not as nervous as most media makes it out to be. Yes, there were long lines at gas mask distribution centers, but there were even more people shopping at the malls.
Since Israel has a healthy population of Arabs, any poison gas attack will not discriminate between Jews and Arabs, unless it falls smack dab in the middle of Ramallah, where Jews, of course, are not allowed to live.
The biggest problem for Israel is not an American air strike, and it is difficult to see how Obama can get out of it without making the United States look like the worlds’ biggest sissy. The bigger problem will be what Israel faces on the other side of the border after an air strike.
The United States left behind a mess in Iraq, Libya and Egypt, as well as Israel after the Oslo Accords blew up in it collective face – literally.
No one knows what kind of mess Obama will leave behind in Syria, but Israel is a lot calmer than any other factor, particularly the Obama administration.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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