Times of Israel quotes Gemunder Center Distinguished Fellow Yaakov Amidror on Impact of U.S. Syria Withdrawal for Israel

But not everyone is profoundly troubled about Trump’s apparent exodus from the Middle East. Former Israeli national security adviser Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, for instance, argued that not much will change, in practical terms, for the security of the Jewish state.

“I don’t think Israel needs to be worried,” he told The Times of Israel in an interview Thursday. “There are regional groups like the Kurds that need the US to protect them. Israel, when it was founded, made the decision that it shall never depend on anyone for its security. We always had an ironclad motto: Israel will defend itself by itself. And we’re still very serious about it; we’re not just saying this.”

Israel’s insistence to always be able to provide for its own security is not always easy to implement; it requires a universal draft and enormous financial resources, noted Amidror, who served as Netanyahu’s security adviser from 2011-2013. On the other hand, it puts the Jewish state in a different league than many European states, Saudi Arabia and of course the Kurds, who all depend on America for their safety.

To be sure, Jerusalem requires Washington’s support in the diplomatic arena. American financial support and technological cooperation is also crucial. “But it’s clear that we don’t need American soldiers here to defend ourselves.”

Amidror, today a fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, acknowledged that Trump’s recent actions, and lack thereof, make it clear to the entire region “that the Americans are out.” That, of course, is good news for the Iranians, the Syrians, the Turks and the Russians, he added.

“It’s very bad for the countries that have good relations with the US, including Israel,” he said. “Not because we can’t defend ourselves, but because we understand that the Middle East from now on will [have to manage] without influence, or with less influence, from the Americans.”

The US, of course, will continue to exert economic pressure, including crushing sanctions, on Iran, he stressed.

“According to foreign reports, we struck in Syria more than 200 times. The US didn’t strike the Iranians even once. Therefore, it’s on us, not on them. The job of fighting the Iranians and their influence was always done by us. Our ability to continue do to that will not be limited once the Americans are out,” Amidror said.

“We dealt with the Iranian aggression until now without the Americans, when they still were in the Middle East. We were alone in this ‘war between wars,’ as we call it. The fact that they are pulling out, does not mean any significant change. It’s more about psychology.”

Read full article in Times of Israel