Israeli officials have remained largely mum on the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan and accompanying Taliban takeover of the country. At least in the public arena. But behind closed doors, Israeli leaders are reportedly voicing grave concern.
“Israel is being careful not to make the criticism public, but in private conversation, senior officials have expressed astonishment at the US intelligence failure in Afghanistan,” reported Israel’s Walla news portal.
The biggest lesson of Afghanistan as far as average Israelis are concerned is that the Jewish state can’t rely on foreign powers, even a genuine friend like the United States, to guarantee its security, let alone its future.
“For Israel, the debacle is a reinforcement of our insistence that we, and we alone, put our lives on the line in the defense of this country — even as we forge and nurture our alliances with our vital allies, and none more so than the United States,” wrote Times of Israel Editor David Horowitz. “We do not and must not ask US or any other forces to risk their lives for us, and we dare not rely on any other country or alliance to protect us from our enemies.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is scheduled to visit US President Joe Biden at the White House next week. While both would no doubt like to keep debate over the Afghanistan situation off the agenda when they meet the press, expect many reporters to make it their first question.