As Israel looks around the world today, what does it see? How does it regard Russia, Iran, the USA, neighboring Arab states and its stalled peace process with the Palestinians? In a wide-ranging interview broadcast two days in the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed all of these issues and more.
With ISIS under attack by the Russian coalition in Syria and the US coalition in Iraq, it should be on the run. Instead it is on the offense, launching a terror attack in Cairo yesterday. That attack could be the first strike in Islamic State's promised holiday terror campaign throughout the Middle East - and beyond.
Russia's latest move is deployment of its largest-ever force of ground troops to Syria. With the possibility of more to come, 1,000 troops on their way are not common soldiers. They are special forces, and they come from Chechnya. Like the luminary that informed wise men two thousand years ago, Moscow's star is rising from the north. It is not the same star, however. And its message is quite different.
The US-led coalition to liberate Mosul from ISIS has petered out. ISIS leaders and troops are strolling back into town without a fight. Meanwhile in Aleppo, ISIS is on the run from a Moscow-Tehran coalition. Why has the US op failed? And when Trump inherits the problem, Jerusalem wonders, will he turn the entire fight against Islamic State over to Putin, and by default Iran?
The war in Syria is moving south, toward Jerusalem, and with an international coalition of stunning strength. That coalition includes the the first-ever Shiite army which is also a foreign legion. Expected to number 50-70,000, it is shifting the focus of soldiers from political and tribal allegiances to a single religious identity.