posted on Apr, 10 2003 @ 08:40 PM
Apr. 11, 2003
Saddam's Fall Alters Israel's Strategic Situation: Experts
By HERB KEINON
From depriving the family of Palestinian suicide bombers of a $10,000 dividend, to placing Syria in a geographic vice, to removing the threat of a
hostile eastern front, diplomatic officials and experts believe Saddam Hussein's fall will have immediate strategic ramifications for Israel.
"What happened in Baghdad sends a clear message what the US and its allies can and are willing to do," said Eitan Bentsur, former Foreign Ministry
director-general. "Today the Arab countries will realize more than ever that Israel has the strongest ally in the world, and this will have an impact
on our standing in the region."
According to Bentsur, the major players in the area will now be asking themselves whether in order to prevent further US intervention it may not be
worth thinking in terms of trying to calm the situation in the region, rather than escalating it.
The outcome in Iraq, Bentsur said, also brings Israel closer to a moment of truth regarding an agreement with the Palestinians. He said Israel must
not sit and wait for the road map to be published, and merely react to it, but rather come up with a plan of its own.
"Today there is room for initiatives," Bentsur said, "not merely waiting for a meeting with Condoleezza Rice. That is not diplomatic initiative.
With Iraq defeated, and the extremists on the run, now is the time to define Israel's expectations from the peace process, and to take action."