Is Israel hedging its bets?....
Did former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, herald a major Israeli shift this week?
Oren said that Israel now wants Bashar Assad out--EVEN IF al-QAEDA TAKES OVER.
Oren is close to Israeli PM Netanyahu. So why would Israel, knowing that al-Qaeda desires to exterminate the Jewish state, take such a position?
Perhaps because Israel has concluded that President Obama has allied himself with the Russians and thus will keep Assad in power as the US makes peace overtures to Iran. After Obama's climb-down over Syrian WMD, few in Israel likely believe that Obama will back Israel over Iran. As a lesser of evils, Israel sees Assad as worse than Al-Qaeda, because toppling Assad would be a huge reversal for Iran. Syria is chump change; Iran is the Big One.
In the Bush administration this would never have happened. First, George W. Bush was strongly pro-Israel. Second, Americans were far more engaged with foreign policy during the Iraq and Lebanon wars
Put simply, President Obama needs Assad's cooperation to find all the chemical WMD, and Russia, newly influential in the Mideast thanks to the deal cut with Obama, will insist. And Iran's Syrian client, co-sponsor of Hezbollah, must keep Assad in power to maintain iIran's regional prestige. The Mideast respects winners and has contempt for losers.
By distancing itself from the US, Israel sends Iran a signal: We do not need America to join us if we have to disarm or delay your nuclear weapons program. If we separate our position from Obama over Syria, we can do so over Iran, too.
Bottom Line. In tilting towards Assad, Putin and the mullahs in Iran, President Obama signals Israel that it is on its own over stopping Iran by force. Israel appears to have replied by signaling Obama that if it can break over Syria, even to the point of preferring al-Qaeda, it can break with Obama over Iran, even to the point of attacking without American support.
Such are the wages of diplomatic perfidy.