Netanyahu built his career on promising to be a bulwark against Iran, but instead his failures are contributing to the escalation across the Middle East
Clever wheezes in the Middle East have the tendency to not look very smart for very long. A case in point, as has become sharply evident this week, is the much-vaunted “deconfliction” arrangement between Russia and Israel after the former entered the war in Syria on the side of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
Negotiated between Vladimir Putin and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, it was held up at first as evidence of the latter’s diplomatic skills – an arrangement that allowed Israel a free hand against weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah and maintained Israeli deterrence on its northern border.
Over seven years, the civil war has dragged in multiple foreign nations, turning what started as a pro-democracy uprising into a quagmire of overlapping conflicts.