Israelis Find Themselves Between a ‘Rock and a Hard Place’

by | Apr 23, 2013 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

In six months, Israel will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, during which Israel suffered almost 3,000 casualties and another 9,000 were wounded in fierce battles that took place throughout Sinai and the Golan Heights.

Today, with winds of Islamic extremism blowing in from Egypt—plus more than two years of fighting between Syrians loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels trying to overthrow Assad, leaving nearly 100,000 dead—Israelis look at current events with similar trepidation that preceded the Yom Kippur War. We find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.

Recent reports of the U.S. sending troops and equipment to Jordan, providing Israel with some new advanced weapons, and Jordan granting air rights for Israeli drones to pass through Jordanian air space (to Syria) all suggest that something is in the works. Add to the mix the recent restoration of ties between Israel and Turkey, another opponent of the Assad regime, and talks of renewed coordination between us lend one to wonder when, not if, there will be a military intervention in Syria.

Israelis do care about the humanitarian disaster that is taking place in Syria, with civilians being butchered along with rebel fighters and government troops. It’s a paradox that the country that’s been one of our most fierce enemies, steadfastly refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist much less make peace with us, is facing this situation. Yet there’s a parallel outpouring of care for the well-being of the Syrian people and worry about what will be—and whether or not it will be good for Israel.

Israel largely has sat on the sidelines, watching and not interfering in developments in Syria. And while we also are concerned we may get pulled into the fighting by having to defend ourselves, there are several notable exceptions. Among these is the repeated evacuation of Syrians injured in domestic fighting, brought across the border to Israel and treated in Israeli hospitals. Yes, whether rebel fighters or government troops, because Israel sanctifies and celebrates life, we treat people who are wounded in a civil war in a country that is at war with us.

This leads to the concern that if the fighting were not bad enough already, things could get worse and that Syrians could attempt to flee over the Israeli border for their own safety. This could pose both a humanitarian problem as well as a security risk, and it is something for which Israel must be prepared.

Beyond the humanitarian crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands flee for their safety to Turkey and Jordan (where riots among refugees have been reported), the big and immediate fear in Israel is that Syria will use its vast stockpile of chemical and biological weapons (said to be more than 1,000 tons) against us, either as a way to draw us into the fighting and unite support for Syria against Israel or as a Hail Mary-type pass, as the falling government could launch these weapons against us with “nothing to lose.”

The video Can’t Ignore the Risks was produced to dramatize some of the threats Israel faces. As an Israeli and father of six, with gas masks in three different sizes stored in my home’s bomb shelter, the fear of this scene actually coming to pass, with chemical or biological warheads attached, is terrifying. The support we get from overseas is a comfort, but the threats we face are still very real.

Just below the surface of fear and concern, Israelis also worry about what will come. The fighting in Syria is not just a matter of Syrians fighting Syrians. Foreigners are on the ground, too, fighting with and/or “advising” either side.

It’s clear that Syria’s prime benefactor is Iran, a Shiite theocracy that has sustained and propped up the Syrian Alawite government for decades. As far as diplomacy or moderation goes, nothing good comes out of Iran, which today is the umbilical cord keeping the Assad regime (and Assad himself) alive.

With Iran being such a threat to Israel and the world, it would be logical for Israel to line up with the rebels to overthrow Assad, even with some tacit support. But logic here is not black and white. There are many factions of Syrian rebels fighting the government, and each gets support financially and materially by different countries and different terrorist groups. None of those supporting these factions are allies of Israel, to put it nicely.

There are really no good answers in Syria. If the Assad regime were to defeat the rebels and stay in place, the threats it poses on its own, as an agent of Iran and as a supplier of Hezbollah, are still grave. If the rebels win, there’s likely to be no shortage of infighting among them to wrest power and control over each other.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups could come out strengthened, controlling the WMD arsenal and literally sitting on our border. In the “best case,” Syria could actually try to have elections and install a representative government. But if the Egyptian model is any example, what comes after may be worse than what was before.

There is a well-known saying that “the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.” Sadly, it doesn’t look like much good is going to come on the Syrian front—not for Israel, and not for the Syrian people.

The one good thing is that, although Israel has been pressured to make peace with Syria and “return” the Golan Heights, thankfully that has not happened. Otherwise we’d see the Syrian civil war literally on our front door step, just across the Sea of Galilee from hundreds of thousands of Israelis.

The past two years’ developments in Egypt and Syria provide a clear lesson for us in any future peacemaking endeavors that, in our neighborhood, maybe we will never own peace, but just rent it until a new warlord comes to power.

Jonathan Feldstein is the director of Heart to Heart, a unique virtual blood donation program to bless Israel and save lives in Israel. Born and educated in the U.S., Feldstein emigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He can be contacted at FirstPersonIsrael@gmail.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era The Lord first began speaking to me about the release of seven abilities...

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

Many years ago, Jesus went up on a mountain, sat down, and spoke to the group he was with: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all...

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

In the past few years, the global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of many local churches. Friends from around the world have told me that many churches have closed their doors for good. Although most churches have not returned to their pre-pandemic attendance...

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle of the Azusa Street Revival.  Bishop William Joseph Seymour, was a...

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Once a year, I go to the doctor and get a check-up. And every time, one of the things they do is check my heart. A good thorough exam will reveal if there are any problems that need to be addressed before a heart condition arises. I believe we need to do the same...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Recently while in worship, I was talking to the Lord when this prophetic flow began to come forth. I took out my phone and pressed record. This is the transcription of that word I received: "God, I see the firebrands rising up. God, I see the firebrands rising up. I...

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

The best way to grow in the prophetic is to look at the past. As backwards as that sounds, Revelation 19:10 tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” In other translations, this is said, “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness...

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in...

RECENT ARTICLES

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first of three estimates for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Second-quarter inflation-adjusted (real) GDP fell at an annual rate of...
Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had cake for my birthday, which I celebrated recently. Strawberries with nuts are my favorite treats today. That was definitely not my choice in years past until I made some monumental decisions in about 2009. Not eating sugar...

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

I was walking along one of my favorite beaches, and it was turtle season. Early each morning, park services ride along the beach looking for new sea turtle nests. They record the nest's location, place stakes and rope off the location so that people do not disturb the...

Curt Landry: What Are the Dangers of Soul Ties?

Curt Landry: What Are the Dangers of Soul Ties?

Soul ties form when we act in accordance with the flesh when developing or growing in a relationship with another person. This could be any relationship formed or grown out of shame, guilt, embarrassment, pride, loneliness, doubt and the like. Soul ties can develop...

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Leave a Church

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Leave a Church

This pandemic season hasn’t been easy—but pastors have suffered in unique ways. Statistics show that between 20-30% of churchgoers stopped attending in 2020, and the bulk of those people have not returned. In many cases, they never said goodbye. Many of my best...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]