By Tony Badran, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
In contrast to a U.S. Syrian policy of "confusion" that "contorts itself [walking] back a red line it never intended to enforce," Israel, in the view of Tony Badran, employs a regional strategy that guides the latter's actions vis-a-vis the conflict in Syria and beyond. Israel accepts, he writes, the importance of the American concern to prevent both the rise of jihadism in Syria and any use of Assad's chemical weapons. Israel's principal concern, however, is preventing any shift in the balance of regional power that favors Iran and its allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), and Gaza (Hamas).
Guided by its regional perspective, Israel aims to prevent Iran from transferring to Hezbollah any "first-strike weapons [capable of threatening] Israel's population centers." To implement that policy, Israel attacked a Syrian arms convoy headed for Lebanon in February.
Thinking regionally, also Israel successfully assassinated several key enemy figures: Hezbollah's military commander, two...