WHY IS THIS ARAB-ISRAELI WAR different from all other Arab-Israeli wars? Because it's not an Arab-Israeli war. Most of Israel's traditional Arab enemies have checked out of the current conflict. The governments of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia are, to say the least, indifferent to the fate of Hamas and Hezbollah. The Palestine Liberation Organization (Fatah) isn't a player. The prime mover behind the terrorist groups who have started this war is a non-Arab state, Iran, which wasn't involved in any of Israel's previous wars.And it's worth noting animoisty between Israel and Iran something new,
What's happening in the Middle East, then, isn't just another chapter in the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's happening is an Islamist-Israeli war. You might even say this is part of the Islamist war on the West--but is India part of the West? Better to say that what's under attack is liberal democratic civilization, whose leading representative right now happens to be the United States.
Persian Iran sat out all three Arab-Israeli wars and even during the Arab oil boycott of the 1970s, continued supplying Israel with oil. The 100,000 Jews in Iran helped sustain robust Iranian-Israeli trade.Also interesting that Israel's President Moshe Katsav, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz are Iranian Jews, Farsi Speakers; with Katsave and Mofaz both born in Teheran.
Even after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution severed these ties and sent most Iranian Jews fleeing, overlapping interests allowed these arch-enemies to do business. Mutual animosity toward Iraq - and Israel's desire to preserve influence with Tehran moderates - led Israel to supply weapons to the Islamic Republic well into the 1980s, including service as middleman in the Reagan administration's arms-for-hostages deal