עמוס גלעד
Amos Gilad
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Iran displays warheads during military march

Israel stuck in quicksand of elections as our enemies grow stronger

Opinion: Iranian nuclear threat, the PA's dwindling power, potential for a religion war at the Temple Mount, and being on trajectory for a bi-national state are all issues that should top Israel's political agenda, yet often foolishly dismissed

Amos Gilad |
Published: 08.04.22, 23:24
The State of Israel is facing unprecedented strategic challenges, but is too caught up in political drama surrounding the elections to focus on the threats posed by enemy actors around us.
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  • Let's start with the twofold threat coming from Iran: the nuclear and the ballistic. Israel made a huge mistake in its insistence on killing the nuclear deal without coming up with an alternative plan. As of today, it seems that Iran's potential to become a nuclear power and threaten Israel's existence, is entirely in our hands.
    4 View gallery
    ראשי טיל איראני
    ראשי טיל איראני
    Iran displays warheads during military march
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Meanwhile, Israel is investing countless resources in catching up to the security standard it has set for itself. Still, without strategic coordination with the U.S., Israel's ability to take advantage of its security superiority is very limited. The security cooperation between Israel and the U.S. must be the top priority in order to remove the Iranian threat altogether.
    Our cooperation with the Arab countries, primarily in the Gulf, is indeed impressive and sparks hope, but these countries have made it clear that they do not intend to establish a binding framework, like NATO. At the end of the day, relationships with the Arab states, even if done under the U.S. supervision, will not save the day.
    Another matter that needs tending to is the way in which politicians approach those who are interested in changing the status quo at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, and whose voices have been amplified by the media with the High Holidays and elections on the horizon.
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    A Palestinian runs away from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday
    A Palestinian runs away from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday
    A Palestinian runs away from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque at the al-Aqsa Mosque
    (Photo: AP)
    If these rouge political actors succeed in their agenda, Israel could find itself deep in a religious war with the Muslim people, which would directly influence our relations with the Arab countries, as well as with America.
    We have a national obligation to be proactive in preventing escalation, and making sure the Chief Rabbinate doesn't make any dangerous moves ahead of the High Holidays. If Israel gets tangled up in such a conflict, it would be fulfilling Hamas' wishes and greatly harming our ability to stand against the Iranian threat.
    On the bright side, Israel seems to be on top of the efforts to resolve the maritime border conflict with Lebanon, thanks to the American mediating efforts. This agreement would allow both countries to prosper through diplomatic cooperation, rather than allow the mutual incitement to continue.
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    Tamar gas field in Mediterranean Sea
    Tamar gas field in Mediterranean Sea
    Tamar gas field in Mediterranean Sea
    (Photo: Albatross Aerial Photography)
    Still, the November 1 elections are in the back of the mind of every lawmaker making decisions, which inevitably distracts our politicians from tending to urgent strategic matters. One of such matters is the emerging probability of a bi-national state being established here, which contradicts the Zionist vision of Israel being a Jewish and democratic country.
    The Shin Bet, IDF, Israel Police, and intelligence forces have been very successful in recent years in thwarting Palestinian terror through raids and special operations in the West Bank.
    This means, however, the Palestinian Authority has less and less power and autonomy in the territory that is supposed to be under its control, and is becoming dramatically weaker and less legitimate by the day. If our plan of action for the day after Mahmoud Abbas isn't drawn up soon, the Palestinian president's resignation will catch Israel off guard, bringing with it a wave of unmonitored chaos.
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     טקס האשכבה לשירין אבו עאקלה
     טקס האשכבה לשירין אבו עאקלה
    Mahmoud Abbas
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The main question we should be asking ourselves ahead of the elections is how we are preparing for when PA is weakened and Israel has to enforce its authority in the territory? It's not presumptuous to point to the looming Palestinian front, in which Hamas will look for opportunities to use national-religious grounds to ignite tensions, which won't be difficult since the Al-Aqsa Mosque can always be used as an excuse.
    This could also lead to ramifications in Jordan, the stability of which is a great strategic tool for Israel's security. The Jordanians are under pressure from pro-Iranian forces in Syria, and the stability of the West Bank, which partly borders Jordan, is directly related to the maintenance of good security ties with the kingdom.
    To the list of topics that need urgent attention, we can also add health, governance, education, and social status of Israel's Arab population. Israel's national resilience is crucial for our national security.
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