JERUSALEM WATCHES AS U.S. ALIGNS WITH DAMASCUS, IRAN

Obama with US military Joint Chiefs of Staff Photo YouTube screenshot Democracy Now channel Mod01aToday Jerusalem is watching America lead Syria to the worst possible solution for Israel: Assad in power, and Iranians in the Golan Heights.

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The Americans are now selling out the Syrian Kurds to the Turks—but we've already gotten used to their cynical foreign policy. What Israel is having a hard time getting used to, however, is the fact its biggest ally is completely disregarding Israeli interests in the Middle East.

Over the past two years, since the international intervention in Syria began, Western diplomacy has been trying to convince allies in the world to cooperate with the minorities in Syria. Alongside the Kurds and Druze, the largest minority groups, there are also other ethnic-religious groups who are demanding autonomy in Syria.

Regarding Syria, Israel has a "minority strategy." It is based on the assumption that if Syria breaks into autonomous minorities, this will stop the Iranian/Shi'ite takeover of the country, and so eventually thwart the main threat to Israel: an Iranian hold on the Golan Heights, in addition to its hold on Lebanon.

Israel has tried coordinating positions with the Russians and Americans on different issues relating to Syria—at the highest ranks.

There were no real expectations from the Russians. The fact they were willing to listen was an achievement in and of itself.

As far as the Americans are concerned, it appears to Jerusalem that the nuclear deal with Iran was not a one-off snub. The Obama administration in Washington consistently pays no mind to Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, or the defense minister, Lieberman.

It is time to admit it: Israel has no access to the White House. The Americans have been ignoring Israeli interests for years, starting with their betrayal of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It continued by pretending there are no more chemical weapons in Syria, despite the fact they were being openly used.

Israel takes pride in its strategic dialogue with the United States. These days, however, it appears to be more of a monologue, each side talking to itself. The only issue the two nations have come together on during the Obama era is hush money the US has paid Israel to not get in the way.

Yes, the Americans do share information with Israel about their operations in Syria. And they consult with the IDF. Indeed, Israeli officials get excited every time an American general comes to talk about some operation. But these are no more than placating sedatives — like the medals being handed out to our IDF chiefs when they visit the United States as an incentive for good behavior.

The Obama administration pays for Israeli compliance with weapons. In fact, US arms sales throughout the Middle East are intended, first and foremost, to serve American interests. These gifts are actually tools the US uses to control the policies of its allies in the region.

For the United States, Syrian Kurds are cannon fodder. The provided an alternative to putting American boots on the ground. Still, it took Obama a year to realize that he also needed to give them weapons so they could continue serving American interests in the fight against ISIS.

Israel, meanwhile, welcomed the possibility of Kurdish autonomy in Syria with American support. Then, suddenly, the tides turned. Turkey and Russia reached an understanding under which the Turks now accept Assad remaining in power for an interim period and have joined the Russian alliance to fight against ISIS. In return, the Russians now allow Turkey to fly through Syrian airspace in order to bomb and destroy the Kurdish autonomous contiguity of Turkey's Kurds with those in Syria. It also creates a buffer zone to keep both ISIS and the Kurds away from Turkey's border.

For their part, the Americans have now decided to join the Russian-Turkey party.

What does this mean for Israel? It means that the Americans are essentially giving their consent to the continuation of the Assad regime, for now, and allowing Iran and Hezbollah to establish their hold on Syria ahead of a future political agreement in the country.

The American-Turkish cooperation in Syria has been instrumental in the effort to bringing down ISIS. But it only took a few days from the moment the Turks invaded Syria—with the United States' blessing—until the Americans realized they had been deceived. The Turks, it turns out, are also shooting at America's allies, the Syrian Kurds—the ones who are supposed to take over Al-Raqqah, the ISIS capital in Syria, for them.

And so, Jerusalem watches with apprehension as the Americans are now leading Syria to the worst possible solution for Israel:

Assad in power, and Iranians in the Golan Heights.

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This is a lightly edited version of the original article published by YNet News at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4848640,00.html

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