Focus on Tel Aviv’s foreign policy in West Asia

Alwaght- The Israeli regime as a false and illegitimate regime in the West Asia follows an actively interventionist policy in the region. In the recent years, the pattern of Tel Aviv’s foreign policy behavior has been based on working to change the structural system of the West Asia and expand the Israeli influence. It is based on this pattern and strategy that the Israeli regime has pursued conflicting and paradoxical policies in dealing with the region’s different political units.

In fact, Tel Aviv sees the West Asian security environment as posing threats to its existence. For this very reason, the security developments of the region are considered as a serious challenge for the Israeli foreign policy makers. Lack of strategic depth and its existential illegitimacy in the region, particularly among the Muslim countries, have always made the Israeli foreign policy’s enforcers face security crises.

Jeff Harper, the American-Israeli author in his book War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians, and the Global Pacification has shed light on the Israeli regime’s role and place in the regional conditions. Harper believes that despite the fact that many countries and state and non-state organizations label the Israeli regime as “illegitimate” for its occupation of the Palestinian territories, in practice we see this illegal existence continues, and even day by day adds to its influence. Using unending wars, bloodshed, and occupation, the Israeli regime has firmed up its position in the regional system.

Therefore, Tel Aviv with its pattern of behavior that aims at changing the regional structures and expanding its sway in the region has been facing two types of regional states. The first group is the conservative Persian Gulf Arab states including Saudi Arabia, its allies, and Turkey as well, with which the Israeli regime has broken the wall of hostility and began the process of diplomatic normalization. Tel Aviv in recent years has held open and secret relations in an array of fields including economic and political and even security and intelligence ties. These ties, in turn, allowed the Israeli regime to boost influence in this group of Arab countries. This is a bilateral relation, however. Actually, the regional states with encouragement from the Western countries, particularly the US, are very interested in normalization of diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv. The best example is the Saudi Arabian regime. Itamar Robinovich, an expert at the Brookings Institute, in an article highlights that Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies are in close cooperation with the Israeli regime against the Iranian nuclear program.

Normalization of diplomatic relations with the Arab neighbors through the New Middle East Initiative was an ideal for the former Israeli President Shimon Peres. The objectives of the New Middle East Initiative include obtaining peaceful coexistence with the Arab neighbors and boosting the economic relations with them. The Israeli regime’s policies so far have been designed in a way that many Arab countries have yielded to such illegitimate demands by Tel Aviv.

The second group includes the Islamic Republic of Iran and its regional allies like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Palestine’s Hamas. Due to its ideological and existential conflict with the Israeli regime, Iran, as a strong actor in the region, is the biggest enemy of the Israeli regime in this second group.

The military capabilities of Hamas and Hezbollah are also part of the security threats Tel Aviv is grappling with in the region. The Israeli regime uses a set of policies in response to this threatening bloc including pressing for regime change, military actions, and diplomatic moves. As part of its game, Tel Aviv accuses the Islamic Republic of opposing the Middle East peace process using the resistant groups of Hezbollah and Hamas. It also accuses Tehran of trying to obtain nuclear weapons. Diplomatic efforts along with threatening to launch military action to force-stop Iran’s nuclear activities have been major focus of the Israeli foreign policy and national security strategists since 2009.

In recent years, another trouble for the Israeli regime in the region has been its way of dealing with the Syrian crisis. After entry of Iran and Hezbollah to Syria for battling the terrorist and takfirist groups, Tel Aviv began to grow severe fears from Axis of Resistance that includes Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. To confront the bloc, Tel Aviv decided to offer financial, logistic, and military support to the terrorists or what it calls the moderate rebels who are fighting the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Israeli politicians want Syria keeps being immersed in insecurity and fighting. This will bar Damascus from taking part in a possible war against Tel Aviv.

As part of Israeli policy for changing the regional system and expanding influence, Tel Aviv sets eyes on the political future of Iraq. Iraq’s partition and backing the Kurdish independence are in best interest of the Israeli regime in Iraq. Making alliances with the non-Arab actors in the region has been part of the traditional policy of Tel Aviv and the Zionism as a whole. A Kurdish independent state in Iraq– and probably in Syria– could bring about positive strategic outcomes for Tel Aviv. It is for these reasons that in the recent years Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has openly been voicing support for the Kurdish struggles for independence in northern Iraq.

As for conclusion, we can note that the Israeli patterns for altering the regional system and expanding influence of Tel Aviv in West Asia in the past 5 years included efforts for diplomatic normalization and a policy of confrontation. Normalization of diplomatic ties with countries like Saudi Arabia, its Arab allies and Turkey, and confrontation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies in the region– as the most significant security challenges for Tel Aviv– make up the defining features of the Israeli policy in West Asia.

By Alwaght