Hezbollah is the culprit that most readily comes to mind when trying to figure out who masterminded the roadside attack on IDF soldiers in the Golan last Tuesday. Hezbollah’s motivation is obvious following the destruction of its missile transports into Lebanon.
Not only has it vowed revenge but its ally, embattled Damascus despot Bashar Assad, has served ample warning that from now on he won’t bar Hezbollah forces from striking against Israel from the Golan.
With that in mind, the detonated booby-trap device (and possible kidnap attempt) was no surprise.
Nevertheless, nothing in Syria necessarily resembles what meets the eye. Syria has deteriorated into an anarchic free-for-all zone the likes of which even this erratic region had never known. It has become a magnetic arena for every terror-mongering setup from the Sunni-supported al Qaida to its Iranian-propped Shiite arch-rival Hezbollah. Lots of bizarre, impenetrable and obscure varieties litter the spectrum in-between and all of them are incendiary, violent and sadistic to extremes inconceivable in today’s liberal and pluralistic West.
What started out as the Syrian civil war, and has lured all these warring elements, has now marked its third unhappy anniversary. It went by largely unnoticed in the international community where sporadic hand-wringing about the ongoing Syrian horror-spectacle is all that can be expected.
The underdog anti-Assad native rebels are fading fast and losing hard to assorted jihadist interlopers. Assad and the diverse fanatics from the outside rule isolated strongholds that have been turned into autonomous mini-states. There are no saints in this internecine bloodshed and all protagonists are in fact out-and-out villains.
They, moreover, all lie prodigiously. No proclamation or contention from Syria can or should be trusted.
The Syrian mayhem exposes both pan-Arabism and its antithesis – separate Arab nationalities – as synthetic hoaxes. The artificial and fragile outer national coating has disintegrated wretchedly (elsewhere in the Arab world as well, but most brutally in Syria).
This isn’t a conflict that can be decisively won. Crimes against humanity are perpetrated blatantly by all sides and, occasional lip-service notwithstanding, the world hardly cares. The lust to massacre rages, underscoring the folly and naiveté of American initiatives like the Geneva peace conference.
As the Syrian inferno keeps combusting and incinerating itself, it also sends messages of paramount existential importance to Israel – messages that we cannot afford to ignore if we want to live.
If this is the gruesome way Arabs treat each other, what would they unleash on the Jews whom all of them had been brainwashed to abhor?
If, furthermore, there’s no distinct or remotely cohesive Syrian nationality, then all the more so there’s no distinctive or remotely cohesive Palestinian nationality. The conflagration that mercilessly consumes Syria could just as likely consume the Palestinian state for which the international community hoarsely clamors. Jihadist imports with nothing to lose would just as frenziedly turn Judea and Samaria into killing fields, should we yield them.
At that point, unbridled chaos would literally reign directly and dangerously next door and inevitably impact us day to day.
All the talk about territory no longer mattering in our technological and globalized reality has been revealed as so much cerebral claptrap. It’s harrowing enough to envisage what our lot would now be had we succumbed to the advice of the weak-willed among us and surrendered the Golan to Assad.
It is incomparably more terrifying to imagine the same mad mutual-obliteration attempted between Salafists and Shiites – and their numerous kindred exotic strains – on the edges of Kfar Saba, Petach Tikva and Jerusalem.
If Syria teaches us anything, it is that territory still counts and counts big, contrary to trendy wishful thinking. Defendable lines and protected sanctuaries haven’t been rendered redundant.
And, just as crucially, we mustn’t overlook the do-nothing unresponsiveness of the family of nations. If that’s how they sermonize ineffectually over the mass-murder of Arabs with whom they sympathize, it’s safe to assume that they would be far less moved about what befalls unpopular Jews.
This is all vital to consider as we see Syria descend into a fourth year of lingering hell.