OPINIONS

Mon 15 Apr 2024 9:40 am - Jerusalem Time

Netanyahu is leading America to the edge

Until now, Benjamin Netanyahu is still holding the wheel of the Israeli vehicle with the American being pulled behind it. Not about the Gaza war, but about the entire region.


Before October 7, and the subsequent war that entered its seventh month against Gaza, and extended from its first days to the northern front, then to Bab al-Mandab, America was working according to its strategic equations and calculations based on containment through calm and avoiding wars.


American diplomacy was doing its job regarding the clashes carried out by local forces, the flames of which were reaching their fingertips, under a ceiling agreed upon with all parties, so that matters would not develop into a regional war adjacent to the war raging in the heart of Europe, which would put America and its allies and friends in danger. The whole world is in an undesirable situation.


During that period, a term prevailed that said that everyone agreed not to escalate and expand, and that the flashpoints spread over most of the geography of the Middle East could be contained and their effects limited, so that they remained local and at a level that would not lead to a wide regional war.


Even the Gaza war, which was the fiercest and heaviest in terms of human losses and areas of destruction, and which waged a war on the northern front, did not turn the situation into a regional war. Rather, it and its storms and extensions remained under the control of the agreed-upon equation.


However, a disturbing cacophony appeared, even for America, from time to time indicating that there are those who are thinking and working to change the agreed-upon equations in favor of a new reality equation in which a regional war becomes the most likely possibility of being achieved, and the condition of this is that its sparks emanate from Iran itself, after its arms could not. It must perform its role with the efficiency it serves, as no regional war can be fought by arms, but rather by direct Iranian intervention.


Netanyahu's strikes were of no use to everything Iranian on the northern front. Iran had found an explanation for receiving the strikes without making a response commensurate with them, so it invented the term strategic patience to justify the lack of response. This is similar to what President Hafez al-Assad did through the term strategic balance and appropriate response in the right time...


However, Netanyahu was supposed, logically, and due to the strength of Israel’s connection with America, not to thread a needle without coordinating with it. However, he began to expand the margins of his own game, many of which were in conflict with American policies and plans.


He deviated from the American script in his war on Gaza, taking advantage of the agreement on goals without their connection to means and field plans. His debates with the administration over Rafah were not everything. Rather, the process of liquidating the World Central Kitchen staff based in America was one of the facts that confirmed that he was doing so. It did not just strike relief aid, but it struck America itself, this time in its own home, even if the place was Gaza.


Netanyahu relied on the fact that the American response to the “kitchen” story had limits, and could be dealt with at the lowest prices, such as an internal investigation and appeasing Biden with some secondary initiatives.


However, the extreme level of persistence and involvement - so far - was the destruction of the Iranian consulate in Damascus and the killing of a number of leaders of the Revolutionary Guard, in what was considered a strike in the heart of Tehran, and according to the American narrative, the administration knew about the operation while the planes were on their very short way to the target. And when the American justification did not work, the administration was forced to raise the state of alert to the maximum degree, and to merge its bill with the Israeli bill in a way that became the case if the response was carried out on a large scale and directly by Tehran, or was carried out in an agreed upon way to save face and bring things back under control. In essence, the story was not to Washington’s liking, and what Netanyahu did achieved a qualitative shift in the rules of the game, and no one can guarantee what developments on the ground will entail later.


For a long time, we evaluated the American-Israeli relationship with simplification, flatness, and even naivety, when we convinced ourselves that Israel was just a quick-firing gun in the hands of America, directing its nozzle and bullets wherever and whenever it wanted. Then, after a long time full of wars, setbacks, and events, we saw something completely different, at least in our region. The maker of this situation is Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Netanyahu is leading America to the edge

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