Blue and White politician warns of Syria war, calls for dialog with PA

"The price of Netanyahu's failure will be an 'Axis of Evil' closing on Israel from the north."

By LEON SVERDLOV
October 13, 2019 01:17
1 minute read.
Ofer Shelah

Ofer Shelah. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

"The events in northern Syria are concerning, first and foremost because the US keeps running away from the Middle East," MK Ofer Shelah, a member of Blue and White and a former member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said last week. "It started with the Obama [administration] and continues with [US President Donald] Trump; the result is clear – a strengthening of forces that are hostile to Israel."


Shelah criticized Netanyahu's actions in the Syria crisis, calling the strategy of his administration a "continuous diplomatic failure," and warning of Syria falling into the realms of Turkish and Iranian influence rather than joining a US-Israel Bloc. "Netanyahu brags about his photo-ops with Trump and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, but Trump does what is convenient to him and Putin is splitting up Syria between [Turkish President Recep Teyyip] Erdogan and [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and not with us."

"For years we have been calling upon Netanyahu to lead what I have called the 'real Deal of the Century,' Shelah said. "A new Middle East in which the leading forces are US allies, led by Israel and the peace-seeking states in the region."

According to Shelah, the reason for Netanyahu not pursuing such a pact with US-allied Arab states is his unwillingness to pursue a dialog with the Palestinians. "Netanyahu refuses to put the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on the table," Shelah said, adding that without the process, "neither the Saudis nor the Egyptians, Jordan, Morocco or the Gulf states would join [such a bloc]."

"It is a horrid diplomatic disaster, the price of which could be Iranian forces on the Golan Heights and an 'Axis of Evil' closing on Israel from the north," Shelah said. "And our only way of dealing with it would be by force."

"Uri Sagie, former head of the Military Intelligence, told me once that we form [parliamentary] inquiry committees into fiascos during wars, but there has not yet been an inquiry committee that would investigate [the government for] missing out on a diplomatic opportunity," the MK said. "Netanyahu's detrimental [foreign] policy should be replaced before we ask ourselves how we have gotten ourselves into the next war."



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