With the Middle East engulfed in war, Israel has sought to stay uninvolved in the turmoil while keeping its borders reasonably secure. Moshe Yaalon, who served until recently as Israel’s defense minister, and previously as the IDF chief of staff, discusses Jerusalem’s current approach to the region, including its policy of nonintervention in “internal Arab conflicts,” its response to terror, and its pursuit and maintenance of alliances with Sunni states not dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. In his view, the greatest threat to Israel remains the Iranian nuclear program, and he urges the U.S. to take a stronger stance against the Islamic Republic. (Interview by Robert Satloff. Video, 92 minutes. A summary is available at the link below.)
Israel’s Grand Strategy, Explained by One of Its Architects
Lessons for Israel from Iran’s Response to the Killing of Qassem Suleimani
On January 8, just five days after the U.S. killed the high-ranking Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in a retaliatory airstrike, Tehran responded by firing ballistic missiles at two American bases in Iraq. At first it seemed possible that the Islamic Republic deliberately aimed its rockets so as not harm U.S. soldiers, but, Uzi Rubin concludes, information made public since then strongly suggests that the lack of American deaths was “a matter of sheer luck.” Iran, which generally prefers to operate through proxies or in such a way as to maintain plausible deniability, not only took credit for the attack but boasted about its success.