Arab Media Highlights the “Curse of Israel’s 8th Decade”

Analysts from across the Middle East say now is the time to pressure Israel while it is vulnerable due to internal strife.

By Baruch Yadid | | Topics: arab press
Arab media sees the strife on Israel's streets and growing calls for IDF soldiers to refuse to serve as evidence that the Jewish state will soon fall.
Arab media sees the strife on Israel's streets and growing calls for IDF soldiers to refuse to serve as evidence that the Jewish state will soon fall. Photo: Elyashiv Rakovski/TPS

(TPS) Arab media outlets have in recent days extensively covered Israel’s escalating demonstrations against the government’s judicial reform initiative.

Media outlets affiliated with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria — the so-called “Axis of Resistance” against Israel — have all taken note, particularly of Israeli military reservists threatening to refuse to serve.

The Syrian newspaper Al Watan, which is affiliated with President Bashar Assad’s regime, wrote that “dozens of soldiers have announced that they will not participate in military training,” and added that “the legal amendments are dismantling the Israeli occupation army.”

The Amd website of Hassan Azpour, formerly a member of the Palestinian delegation, also covers “the statement of 37 fighter pilots in the Israeli Air Force who refuse military service, in protest of the controversial legal reform plan.”

Media outlets of the extreme Arab axis highlight the serious damage to the Israeli security system and especially to the Air Force and Unit 8200, which play key roles in Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria. For example, Lebanon’s Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen TV network asked, “How will the legal reform crisis in Israel affect the effectiveness of the Air Force in the future war,” and pointed out that “cracks are visible in the formation of the reserve units in Israel.”

Abbas Ismail, Al Mayadeen’s commentator on Israeli affairs, said, “The internal challenge to the Palestinian and Iranian sides are the most prominent facing Israel, which is facing an impasse. It seems that the Iranian challenge is blocked in front of Israel due to the internal challenge, which is the most urgent and strategic.” He went on to stress, “Iran understands that no one will attack it in light of the turbulent situation in Israel.”

These media outlets also highlighted the words of of Israeli protest leaders, particularly those calling on reservists to refuse further service. Remarks by President Isaac Herzog and former prime ministers Ehud Olmert, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, are carefully selected as if to confirm predictions by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah that Zionism is bound to collapse on itself.

For example, Al Mayadeen quoted retired Israeli Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin who said, “Hezbollah does not need to develop accurate missiles, because we are being eaten from the inside.”

A few headlines deal with “the curse of the eighth decade of Israel’s life,” based on comments made by Nasrallah.

“For the first time since the establishment of Israel, we hear the president, former prime ministers Lapid, Bennett, Olmert and Barak and former defense ministers talk about civil war and bloodshed. In Israel groups are organizing that want to leave for the US and other countries,” Nasrallah said. He concluded his remarks saying, “The biggest threat to us in the region will not complete 80 years of its existence.”

Other Arab commentators insist that the State of Israel was “established by various immigrant groups,” and “cannot and does not deserve to exist as a state,” while pointing to the protests as proof. Other commentators insist that a country built on conflicts between the Arabs, “as part of [David] Ben-Gurion’s strategy, is now disintegrating from within.”

Others have drawn parallels with anti-government protests in Iran. Demonstrations there were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022. The 22-year-old Amini died in custody after being arrested by Iran’s “Morality Police” for improperly wearing her hijab, a head covering worn by many Muslim women and mandatory in Iran.

“While Israel highlighted the difficult demonstrations in Iran, it has been dealing with huge demonstrations that are crippling it for nine weeks,” one commentator said.

And Al Mayadeen’s Abbas Ismail warned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might launch a surprise attack to distract the world from the demonstrations.

See: All Signs Point to Imminent Israeli Attack on Iran

The common denominator emerging from these interviews is the emphasis on pressuring Israel while it is vulnerable and preoccupied with domestic affairs.


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