Russia is giving Syria advanced S-300 missiles which can hit any Israeli military aircraft. This ends the hegemony Israel has had over Syrian skies. By doing so, Russia has enabled the Iranians to send more armaments and ammunition than ever to the Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon and the Iranians can get closer to the Israeli border. Let us not forget, Iran is the declared mortal enemy of Israel.
Israel had a very warm relationship with Russia. So, how did this happen?
Russia claims and has documented that an Israeli military aircraft advancing to bombard a target in Syria hid behind a Russian cargo plane. The Syrians fired and hit the Russian plane instead of the Israeli plane, killing fourteen Russians.
Putin considered this Israeli act a violation of the agreement Russia had with Israel regarding Israel’s actions in Syria. So, Putin decided in a sense to punish Israel.
How did Israel end up in this situation?
If Israel did take its chances and did hide behind a Russian cargo plane, they were daring and assumed it would work out.
What is the root of this outlook on life?
If there is an expression one hears repeated in Israel whenever a potential crisis is discussed, it is, “Hakol yihye beseder” – All will be okay.
I believe this expression, which is like a mantra in Israel, is what enabled the Jewish people to survive two thousand years of persecution, discrimination, pogroms and, expulsions.
Without hope, regardless of how unrealistic it was, we would not have survived as a nation.
Victor Frankl survived a Nazi death camp and developed a school of thought in psychology based on this optimism. He reasoned that if people like him had a reason to exist—if they still hoped to achieve their mission in life in spite of the ovens murdering thousands of people around them daily—they would survive.
Israel is acting in continuation of this optimistic outlook on life, unrealistic as it may be. When coupled with some military might, this outlook manifests itself as arrogance on the battlefield. This perspective leads Israelis to take gratuitous risks. This is how the Yom Kippur War surprised the Israeli, resulting in hundreds of young soldiers’ needless deaths. This is why the war in Lebanon yielded so many unnecessary sacrifices.
But this also explains why Israel is a leader of innovation in technology, medicine, and agriculture. Israelis dare to challenge the accepted rules. They dare to step out of the box, in spite of the potential consequences.
Every coin has two sides.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes