Israel Leading the West's War against Radical Islam
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel is literally the West's frontline in confronting radical Islamic groups, former Israeli National Security Advisor Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror said.
Less than a day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas, following 50 days of fighting in the south, an Israeli army officer was moderately wounded along Israel's northern border on the Golan Heights by gunfire emanating from Syria.
Israel responded with artillery fire at a Syrian army post. Israel said it holds the Syrian army responsible for all cross-border fire.
Amidror, currently with the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, told journalists in a conference call on Wednesday that Israel may find itself leading the Western war against radical Islam.
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"Israel might be literally the front of the West toward the radical Islam[ic] movements," Amidror said. "It is true about Gaza, relating to Hamas, and it might be true about al-Nusra [Front] if they succeed to take control on the Golan Heights."
But Amidror said it's not just a threat to Israel; it's a threat to the West.
"And I think that this is a very important issue to remember because those threats of radical Islam are not going to stop on the frontiers of Israel, but the West and democratic countries and others will have to face it near home sooner or later," he said.
"In many cases in history they begin with the Jews and they continue with others," he added.
The Syrian army has been fighting rebel forces, including the al-Nusra Front for control of southern Syria, along Israel's northern border for the past two years.
Earlier Wednesday, some reports said al-Nusra had actually taken control of the Quneitra border crossing, normally manned by United Nations peacekeeping forces.
And it may not stop with the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front on its Golan Heights border. The Islamic State (ISIS) may not be far behind.
The Israeli daily Ha'aretz referred to unnamed officers of the IDF's northern command, saying the Islamic State "is already knocking on the door of the Golan Heights."
Amidror said Israel needs to make its position very clear on the northern border.
"As in the previous battles between the regime and the rebels, we are not in a position to determine the process in Syria, and we are not the one who should be [doing] the dirty [work] for the Assad regime," Amidror said.
"We should be very clear about our red lines. No one will cross the border. If someone will try, we will kill him. And if someone will launch rockets or artillery toward Israel, our retaliation will be immediate whether it's the Syrian regular army or the rebels," he said.
"We should not interfere on the other side of the border to save one side or the other," he added.
At the same time, Israel should continue to help in a humanitarian way by treating injured Syrians. Israel has already treated hundreds of wounded Syrians who have mysteriously crossed the border.