'When people take you seriously, you can live in peace'

Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar explains why Israel's friends aren't necessarily 'good guys,' says only deterrence sustains Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Arutz Sheva

Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar, who lectures at Bar Ilan University, explained at the Arutz Sheva conference that Israel's friends are not necessarily "good guys," urging Israel to separate Hamas' "head from its shoulders."

The conference, held at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, was organized by Dr. Joseph Frager.

"Unfortunately, the Middle East is full of too many bad guys. Even those who look like 'good guys,'" he said. "For example, in Israel and abroad, we said that [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad is a 'good guy,' because he keeps the agreement on the Golan very strictly...and is a man which - you know, you can rely on him, and you can make business with him, and there is a state, and with a state...you can make business."

"The problem is, that the same Assad who is viewed as a nice man, both the father and the sun, were actually in bed with the Iranians, with Hamas, with Hezbollah - Hezbollah big time, with the Islamic Jihad, and every terror organization which worked against Israel day and night - Assad was behind it. So what do you mean by 'good guy?' The fact that he keeps the agreement in the Golan - he has reasons. But he fought against us in every other possible arena. So to define him as a 'good guy,' only because he doesn't shoot at us but he sponsors others which shoot at us - this is insane.

"[Former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak, in the south - he was a 'good guy' because he was with us. But he allowed smuggling weapons, including missiles, from Sinai to Gaza. Why did he allow them? Because he wanted us to take care of Hamas. Because when they shoot us, we will shoot them, and kill them fr him. And this is....[a] malicious kind of thinking.

"Even the Saudis...yesterday it was published that the are demanding to give Jerusalem to the Palestinians. What do you mean by 'good guys?'"

Dr. Kedar also discussed how Israel should relate to incoming rockets, whether accidental or intentional.

"I don't care if it's accidental or not," he said. "What we should keep forever is our deterrence. Let others be afraid of us. This is what deterrence means. And this is actually our condition to remain in this area. Peace agreement is nothing more than a piece of paper."

"In this area, only if you are invincible you get peace. Not because you have an agreement but because they're afraid of you.... This will actually give us peace forever, if we are forever invincible and too dangerous to mess with. That's all."

Regarding the incendiary balloons and rocket attacks, he said, "What's the difference between balloon and rocket? Only the velocity. But it can devastate you and this can devastate you. If it falls on you and burns you up, so what? Thank goodness it didn't happen, but it's the same thing... This flies faster...and a balloon flies slower, this is the whole difference."

"We should made the rules of the game and telling them since day 2... 'Guys, another balloon and we start to target the connection between the heads and the shoulders of the Hamas leaders.' Because they are responsible, they took the Gaza Strip by force eleven years ago, they are responsible for everything which comes out of the Strip.

"And this is why we, Israel, should have held them responsible to the degree that whenever somebody sneezes towards Israel and we don't like it, we target the connection between the heads and the shoulders of...Hamas.

"You know, after the second one, the others would learn the lesson and behave. And this is unfortunately how this Middle East works. It is not Europe here, it's not America, it's not Canada, it's not - nowhere in the world. This region has its own culture.

"When people take you seriously, you can live in peace."








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