If one looks at the Middle East today, the State of Israel is a democratic beacon of light surrounded by a sea of totalitarian dictatorships and terror organizations. The question remains, what is the best way to confront these threats? Obviously, sitting back and doing nothing only makes these threats worse. Historically speaking, appeasing terror organizations and being apathetic is not the answer to the security challenges the State of Israel faces. As Elie Wiesel once stated, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented.”
Thus, action is required in order to properly respond to the security challenges faced by the State of Israel for the best defense is a good offense. Therefore, both America and Israel should work to prop up the peoples of the Middle East to rise up against the very terror organizations and regimes that we seek to be overthrown, empowering them to seek a better tomorrow both for themselves and the State of Israel. Here is the best way to do this:
- Iran protests: Over 1,000 Iranians were killed recently protesting against the Iranian regime. If either the US or Israel had given military, political, diplomatic and financial support alongside free internet access to these Iranian protesters, then they could have been enabled to topple the most brutal regime in the region that poses the greatest threat to both the State of Israel and America. If that had happened, then it would have had a domino effect across the Middle East, thus destroying the Shia Crescent from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea and weakening terror groups, such as Hezbollah. While Trump did give verbal support to the Iranian protesters and has issued crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which led to the protests in the street to begin with, this is not enough for the Iranian people to have the ability to topple the Iranian regime. In order to be able to successfully topple the Iranian regime, dissident groups aiming to topple the mullah’s regime needed to be armed so that they could defend themselves against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the protesters in the street required free internet access provided by the US government, so that the Iranian regime could not interfere with them organizing demonstrations. Unfortunately, 10 percent of the time, Trump forgets to be Trump and this leads to the strengthening of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East. However, all is not lost. According to Syrian Kurdish dissident Sherkoh Abbas, while this round was lost, it is not too late to win the war for these protests could easily be ignited again over the next few years and could then succeed in toppling the mullah’s regime. The best way for the US to reignite these protests is to support Kurdish, Baloch, Ahwaz and Azeri groups that seek to secede from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Once these groups start to fight the Islamic Republic of Iran backed by American weapons, free internet access and crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the other dissidents’ active in the Persian street will also rise up once again. In this way, the US can achieve regime change in Tehran without having to get involved directly militarily.
- Lebanon protests: After Saad Hariri resigned as Prime Minister in the wake of the Lebanon protests, he now has emerged as a leading candidate to be prime minister, even though the Lebanese people have risen up against this status quo. Thus, the future of Lebanon is now up for grabs. It would be a disaster if Hezbollah, whose raison d’etre is being anti-Israel and pro-Iran, got the upper hand. Therefore, support should be given to all elements in Lebanon which seek to weaken Hezbollah’s influence within the country. While it is true that removing Hezbollah requires military force, if the regime in Tehran is toppled and Iranian influence is removed from Iraq, Hezbollah will be weakened. : Ninety percent of Hezbollah’s funding comes from pro-Iranian elements in Iraq. Thus, supporting the Iraq protests is one of the best ways to weaken both the Iranian regime and Hezbollah. Furthermore, Hezbollah will also be weakened if hostile forces gain power in Beirut.
- Iraq protests: The Iraqi people are presently protesting in order to expel Iran from Iraq and to end the country’s support for Hezbollah. However, whether Iraq will be ruled by Iran, Baathists or pro-Western dissidents remains to be seen. The National Rally Call of Iraq led by Dr. Nakeeb Saadoon, an Iraqi Kurdish dissident, supports the establishment of an Iraqi Embassy in Jerusalem and strong relations with the Jewish state: “As Iraqis, we believe if you have a good relationship with Israel, it destroys Iran. If you have a good relationship with Israel, you will have a good country. Iran is feeding most of the terrorism. Iran does not want peace, democracy and freedom. Iran provides terrorists and feeds terrorists in order to make sure that Israel is not stable.” It is very important that the National Rally Call of Iraq gets all of the financial, military, political and diplomatic support that they need so that Iraq in the future won’t be governed by either Baathists or the Iranian regime.
- Kurds in Syria: Most of Syria today is run by Bashar Al Assad, a brutal dictator controlled by Iran who committed a democide (against his own people). Northern Syria is run by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, another Islamist despot, who Turkish journalist Rafael Sadi claims is presently the unofficial leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey works with Sunni terror organizations in order to confront both the Kurds and the Syrian government. in order to confront the West. In order to undermine Iran and other radical elements, financial, political, diplomatic and military support should be given to the Syrian Kurds so that they can retake their lands and establish an independent Kurdistan in unison with Iraqi Kurdistan. This will help to break up the Shia Crescent and to reign in Sultan Erdogan’s regional ambitions. It will also weaken numerous radical Islamist groups in Syria, whom with the backing of Turkey are committing many atrocities and human rights abuses.
Alongside the Iranian axis, one of the gravest threats to humanity originating in the Middle East is ISIS. Although ISIS is a radical Sunni Islamist terror organization, a report in the Tower claims that Iranian operative Imad Mughniyah “was instrumental in the training, development and support of Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaeda, and thus its offshoot the Islamic State.”
Given this, by enabling the Iranian, Lebanese, Kurdish and Iraqi people to overthrow the mullah’s regime in favor of democratic regimes that support women’s rights, minority rights and human rights, ISIS will also be weakened alongside the Iranian regime for no radical Islamist terror group should have a place in a free democratic society. ISIS would no longer have pockets where they are harbored in Iraq and Syria. Therefore, by targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran in this way, our actions will have a domino effect and thus adversely affect all of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East, causing them to either collapse or be weakened.
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Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working for the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, a former Likud Candidate for the Knesset and a former chief of staff of former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara. Since 2012, she has been working as an Israel-based journalist and writer, covering Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other developments in the greater Islamic world.
Her articles have appeared in the Washington Times, the Hill, Front Page Magazine, the Daily Wire, the Christian Post, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, Ahval and many other publications across the globe. She received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She got her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.