Israeli policymakers and analysts are increasingly in agreement that Assad eventually will fall, and that his ouster will be a net benefit for Israel—no matter who succeeds him. AI board member Itamar Rabinovich was quoted in the FT explaining Israel’s shifting perspective on their nettlesome neighbor:
A few years ago, the Israeli outlook would have been different. There was a feeling that this is the devil-we-know and it is better that he stays. But this changed in 2006 and 2007, under the impact of the war in Lebanon and the realisation that Syria was building up Hizbollah.
Assad’s fall would not only hurt Hizbollah, asserts Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman in the Jerusalem Post, but would also be “a severe blow to Iran’s subversive activities in the region.”Yet despite all this, Israel appears not to be considering overt intervention. Israeli strategists see no good avenues open to them, with any conceivable action deemed counterproductive at best. If the region’s sole superpower is so hamstrung in pursuing its vital national interests in this tragic conflict, it’s no wonder that the rest of the West is short on solutions as well.