Israelis are growing increasingly skeptical over whether or not they can trust American security guarantees as they watch a previously US-occupied Iraq crumble in the face of a jihadist onslaught.
Over the past few weeks, the armies of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have scored major victories in northern Iraq, and are now said to be moving on Baghdad itself.
One of those victories was the conquest of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Reports indicate that the US-trained and equipped Iraqi army units in Mosul folded like a house of cards as ISIS approached.
Israeli analyst Guy Bechor, a regular media commentator, noted in an op-ed for the Ynet news portal that “the Americans built this army, trained it and have invested tens of billions of dollars in it in the past decade. But its thousands of soldiers have escaped without fighting, leaving their shoes and clothes behind, as well as advanced American military equipment, an airport, hospitals and prisons.”
It is important to note that in addition to pouring so much into building the Iraqi army, US President Barack Obama deemed that force ready and capable of handling the state’s security when he withdrew US forces in 2011.
Why is this important to Israelis? As Bechor explains:
“Those same hallucinating Americans designated a security plan for us in Judea and Samaria, like the plan they designated for Iraq. US Secretary of State John Kerry, with all his security experts, thought that it would be enough to have an American plan on paper in order to stabilize a [Palestinian] regime and a state there.”
In fact, the Americans have played this game with Israel before in the strong pressure applied on the Jewish state to abandon the Gaza Strip in 2005. Not two years later, the US-trained and equipped Palestinian Authority was routed by Hamas and Gaza became a haven for jihadists of all stripes.
Bechor and many other experts are convinced the same would occur in Judea and Samaria - the so-called “West Bank” - if ever the two-state solution were to come to fruition.