Why Israel Supports Rebels in Syria

Why Israel Supports Rebels in Syria

[Image via Fox News, All Rights Reserved Fox News 2013 (C)] By Joshua Tartakovsky, April 15, 2017 I have written in the past on Israel’s support for rebels in Syria. In light of the recent intensification in Syria, perhaps it is time to explain why. It is not a pleasant sight to see Israel aiding bearded fanatics who seek to topple the secular and brutal regime of Assad, especially when Israel battles the same Islamic radicals in Gaza or the West Bank. But for Israel support for rebels is a matter of survival and is qualitatively different from the interests of the United States, Russia or Turkey. Syrian President Assad has been the main supplier of weapons to Hezbollah, the Shiite guerrilla organization in South Lebanon, which has been battling ISIS in Syria. Hezbollah was founded after Israel’s invasion of South Lebanon which was itself proceeded by PLO’s firing of missiles into northern Israel. In an attempt to establish security for the residents in northern Israel, it engaged in an 18 years long occupation of a buffer zone in South Lebanon, and thereby sought to push off terrorists who were launching missiles into civilian populations further away. But while Israeli soldiers in 1982 were initially greeted as saviors by Lebanese Shiites, over time Hezbollah, an organization supported by Iran and led by Shiite clerics, developed as a response to Israel’s occupation of the region and engaged in very effective guerrilla operations against the Israeli army that eventually forced the latter’s withdrawal in 24 May 2000. Now Hezbollah contains a vast missile arsenal which has a potential to hit as far as southern...

How Russia Should Respond to Erdoğan’s Hate-Mongering?

Joshua Tartakovsky, 5 December 2015 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is one who thrives from exploiting ethnic and religious tensions. For him, the more commotion and incitement, the better. Following the brutal bombing of Kurdish and Turkish protesters in Ankara, a bombing that took place with the police absent from the area and with many indications of the Deep State’s involvement, Erdoğan blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is a Kurdish militant group in Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey, with an anti-centralized state ideology that has been fighting for independence since 1984.  Why would a Kurdish militant group blow up fellow Kurds who share the same desire for independence? But the Turkish masses seemed to believe him. Erdoğan sees enemies everywhere, while the pro- Erdoğan media incites the impoverished public who see in him a hero, a resister and one of their own, wrongly persecuted and always innocent. Erdoğan’s Justice and development Party (AKP) gained power in 2002 after decades of neglect of the Muslim working class by the Turkish elite.  It is a popular, Islamist, pro-US party that seeks to overturn decades of secularism instilled since the founding of the secular republic. Turkey’s professed secularism ran contrary to the wishes of many of the poor living in villages and cities who could not find in the government or army a non-condescending official.  The military, the protector of Turkey’s secularism, did not intervene after AKP won. Erdoğan could finally pursue a process of Islamization of the country and a revival of neo- Ottomanism. Erdoğan’s Turkey feels that it has been oppressed for decades if not centuries. Now it is breaking free....
Press TV: Erdogan says Russians acted emotionally over plane downing

Press TV: Erdogan says Russians acted emotionally over plane downing

  (Photo: Press TV). Press TV November 26, 2015 My appearance on Press TV discussing the downed Russian jet SU24 by Turkey in Syria. Key points: -According to various reports, Erdogan’s son Bilal is deeply involved in buying oil from ISIS in hundreds of millions of dollars -Turkey is hoping that its bringing down the plane and continued aggressive acts, it will eventually force a no-fly zone over Syria since it has been at loss following Russia’s successful strikes against the Islamic State -Russia will not fall into the trap set by Erdogan and will not get carried away. Instead it will remain set on the goal of fighting terrorism in Syria. However, Turkish provocations and acts of aggression are likely to...

Erdogan, Openly Supporting ISIS, Provokes Russia with Washington’s Approval

By Joshua Tartakovsky, November 25, 2015 Truth be told, ever since the Russian-Turkish agreement declared during the Putin-Erdogan meeting on the construction of the TurkStream, many wondered how long the relationship would last. It seemed that it could. After all, Erdogan may have his conflicting interests with Putin in Syria, with the latter openly supporting the Islamic State and the former supporting the secular republic of Syria and President Bashar al Assad. Still, one could have engaged in a wishful thinking of sorts, that conflicting interests in one region need not negatively affect cooperation in another region. However, the shooting down of the Russian military jet in Syrian skies by the Turkish army may complicate things. Russia is unlikely to go to war with Turkey, at least not now.  It knows better than to fall into provocations and responding to the shooting down of the jet will likely bring about the third world war, under NATO’s article 5. NATO has been actively preparing for a war against Russia quite openly recently. But it is still in a difficult position. Since by not responding, it sends the message that it is a nation whose planes can be toppled without an appropriate response. American readers, long accustomed to the demonization of Russia by the US media,  will not be too distraught by the occasional news headlines announcing that yet one more Russian plane has been downed. For some, Russians are less worthy of life and dignity than Europeans. At the same time, Russia punishing Turkey by military means is too dangerous to consider. Russia may therefore respond by announcing a boycott of Turkish...
The Russian Plane in Sinai: Preliminary Thoughts

The Russian Plane in Sinai: Preliminary Thoughts

Photo by Joshua Tartakovsky (C) All Rights Reserved 2016 By Joshua Tartakovsky, November 4 2015 It is too early to draw definitive conclusions about the tragic plane crash of the Russian civil airliner 7K9268 in Sinai in which at least 224 people lost their lives. But that does not mean that one should refrain from drawing a preliminary analysis already. We live in a time when the corporate media intentionally obscures the facts and when US-supported terrorists in Syria place women in large cages above buildings in order to avoid Russian bombings. This leaves us with little choice but to try to make sense of events ourselves. It was a mere several hours after the tragic air crash of the Russian airliner, that Debka File, an Israeli right-wing website with a mixed record, run by a former Israeli intelligence operative, claimed that the plane was shot down by a missile fired by ISIS. Debka also claimed that Russia sought to obscure the location of the crash and falsely claimed that the plane went missing near Cyprus. This seems unreasonable. Firstly, it would make little sense for Russia to obscure a fact that can be easily discovered. Secondly, Russia would have every interest in exposing the truth about the crash as soon as possible and not working to further disinformation. At that stage, it was equally probable that the crash was an accident or a terror attack. However, it was later discovered that the pilot did not call to report an accident. This indicates that the event likely caught the pilot by surprise, leaving no time for response. Most accidents...