Professor calls for Israel to replace US with regional military involvements and 'protect new allies'

Professor calls for Israel to replace US with regional military involvements and 'protect new allies'
Israel must take on regional military involvement to fill the role previously played by the US, political scientist Shmuel Sandler wrote.
2 min read
15 December, 2020
Israel must take on the regional military role the US played previously, Sandler said. [Getty]

Israel needs to launch military operations that support its allies in the region, in order to maintain a strong front against Iran, Arabi21 on Tuesday reported an Israeli academic as saying.

In an article for Israeli think tank Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Shmuel Sandler said that Israel's recent normalisation agreements marked a major breakthrough in establishing a "new axis" in the Middle East.

This would be one where Israel would replace the US' as the main regional military hegemon and act as a deterrence to Iran.

This, Sandler said, should be done even if there is no direct existential threat to Israel.

Sandler, an expert on religious and party policy in Israel, US relations, foreign policy, and national security issues, claimed the main motive behind the Gulf states' normalisation with Israel was "their fear of Iran".

With the US gradually withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the academic claimed the region has been left with a power vacuum, which further motivated the UAE and Bahrain to normalise relations with Israel.

"To the extent that the US continues to leave the region, Israel's weight in the emerging regional alliance will grow, and it is liable to find itself in situations where it is asked to take military steps that are not necessarily required for its own existential interests," he said.

"[Israel must] prepare its public for... regional military involvement in which it fills the role played in the past by the US," Sandler added.

Read also: Fakhrizadeh's assassination throws Biden's Iran policy into the spotlight

The comments come amid a string of Arab normalisation agreements with Israel, which started in September with the UAE, and later Bahrain, signing agreements with the country.

Sudan and Morocco have both followed the UAE and Bahrain in announcing it will normalise relations with Israel, which has sparked internal protests.

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