Israel’s real fear of Syria’s chemical weapons
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
July 24, 2012
Yaakov Katz, defense analyst for the Jerusalem Post, wonders what’s behind Tel Aviv’s sabre rattling over Syria’s chemical weapons. Citing public declarations by senior IDF officers that Hezbollah is “deterred from acting against Israel today,” Katz suggests:
Therefore, it might be the case that if Hezbollah obtains chemical weapons or advanced surface-to-air missiles, the opposite will happen – Israel will be the one deterred from taking action, losing the operational freedom it has today.
Take, for example, the following scenario – a soldier is abducted along the border with Lebanon and Israel wants to retaliate. Hezbollah warns that if the IDF invades it will launch chemical weapons into Israel. This has been one of Israel’s traditional arguments against allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear capability. It is not a threat just because of the possibility that one day a long-range ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead will be fired into downtown Tel Aviv, but due to the nuclear arms race it will set off in the region and because it will impair and undermine Israel’s operational freedom.
That argument is now being used regarding Syria and Hezbollah.
So the next time Benjamin Netanyahu asks you to imagine the people who are supposedly “conducting with Iran all these terror attacks around the world” having chemical weapons, try to imagine a world where Israel’s freedom to attack its neighbours with impunity whenever it chooses to do so is impaired.