Muslims for Israel?

posted at 11:21 am on October 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We all know that Iran has managed to alienate itself from much of the West with its pursuit of nuclear weapons and fanatical hatred of Israel and the US.  It might come as a surprise to some — but not all — how much they have alienated themselves from other Muslim nations as well.  The traditional Persian rivalry with Arabs has always been a factor, but a new report from Reuters shows just how much the mullahcracy has alienated itself from even fellow Persian Muslims:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exudes impatience, saying Tehran is barely a year from a “red line” for atomic capacity. Many fellow Israelis, however, fear a unilateral strike, lacking U.S. forces, would fail against such a large and distant enemy.

But what if, even without Washington, Israel were not alone?

Azerbaijan, the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic on Iran’s far northern border, has, say local sources with knowledge of its military policy, explored with Israel how Azeri air bases and spy drones might help Israeli jets pull off a long-range attack.

That is a far cry from the massive firepower and diplomatic cover that Netanyahu wants from Washington. But, by addressing key weaknesses in any Israeli war plan – notably on refueling, reconnaissance and rescuing crews – such an alliance might tilt Israeli thinking on the feasibility of acting without U.S. help.

It could also have violent side-effects more widely and many doubt Azeri President Ilham Aliyev would risk harming the energy industry on which his wealth depends, or provoking Islamists who dream of toppling his dynasty, in pursuit of favor from Israel.

Yet despite official denials by Azerbaijan and Israel, two Azeri former military officers with links to serving personnel and two Russian intelligence sources all told Reuters that Azerbaijan and Israel have been looking at how Azeri bases and intelligence could serve in a possible strike on Iran.

Azerbaijan has had a relationship with Israel for some time, including the sale of Israeli military hardware and trade in Azerbaijani crude. That’s a far cry from having a nation of Persian empire descent and Muslim population consider a military alliance against another Muslim nation — especially the pre-eminent Muslim nation outside of Saudi Arabia, keeper of the holy sites.

The alliance makes sense for Israel, of course, and not just militarily.  Their jets need to refuel in an attack on Iran, and there aren’t many options for them to do so.  Refueling in Azerbaijan would solve that problem and make it much easier to add flexibility to fighter and bomber attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities.  However, that’s not the only advantage Israel would gain.  They could point to the alliance with Azerbaijan as proof that their war on Iran isn’t a larger war on Islam, and it might give Saudi Arabia and other Arab states enough of a cover to stay out of the fight — although Egypt’s transformation into a Muslim Brotherhood state might mean a war for Israel’s western flank.

The US has probably played a role in putting these two nations together in a military alliance.  That could be a big win if it stops Iran short of war.  However, pushing Azerbaijan into war with Iran could inflame the entire Caucasus once again and end up destabilizing another key piece of Central Asia geography four years after the Russia-Georgia war.  Pitting the Azerbaijanis against Iranians might prompt a popular Islamist uprising against the friendly autocracy in power now, and end up leaving us worse off than when we started.  One assumes that Vladimir Putin would be prepared for that eventuality, but the Russians lost a lot of people in the Caucasus over the last twenty years, and they may not be especially anxious to light another match there.

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Can I count these people on my fingers or do I also need my toes?

Oil Can on October 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Over the decades, Israel has developed, and continues, military relationships with a number of countries that on the surface do not seem to be of the type Israel could depend.

All their relationships are based on pragmatism, and mutual benefits.

Azerbaijan has had a relationship with Israel since it broke away from the former Soviet Union.

For example, Turkey, surprisingly, until the very recent past, has engaged with Israel on a number of levels.

As have the Saudis, sub rosa, of course, from time to time.

The old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” ethic continues.

coldwarrior on October 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Is this the same as the “Peggy Noonan is a conservative’ routine?

faraway on October 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

This would be great if indeed true for Israel. Sure might be a good idea to watch ‘both’ hands when dealing with any rop type country Israel, IMO. I have a hard time thinking bho would do much of anything to help Israel, but I would love to be wrong for Israel’s sake!

God be with you Israel.
L

letget on October 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

The Saudis are definitely in on it too.

A nuclear Iran would dominate the entire region and almost certainly tell the 5000 princelings of the House of Saud to go Saudomize their camels.

CorporatePiggy on October 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

It is indeed a pretty sad state of affairs when the fate of Israel is no longer of interest to the White House, so much so that Israel has to make deals with the local devils in order to improve its chances at survival.

coldwarrior on October 1, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Support where you can get it, I suppose.

22044 on October 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Mark Levin had an ex-marine who knew what he was talking about call into his show in March and propose this very same scenario. It’s a great clip.

Mord on October 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM

You should check out that clip I linked because I forgot that the US already leaked this intel. Ed, you might have missed some context on this. It’s already too late.

Mord on October 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Don’t call this racist, as the evidence is obvious and bountiful, Muslims, aside for the highly educated and liberalized few, tend to despise each other almost as much as they despise non-Muslims. Oh no, my mistake, that’s wrong in the Clintonesque (Hilary) view of the “great religion” of peace, despite their history and the literal words of their religious text. Look at Saudi Arabia, often considered among the most liberal of the Muslim countries, IKEA was just forced to “airbrush out the women from their catalog: http://weaselzippers.us/2012/10/01/ikea-bows-to-the-wahhabis-airbrushes-women-from-saudi-catalog/

If being a temporary ally with Israel were to help them fight their enemy Iran, so be it. They also know that Israel attacking Iran would make Israel be all the more hated, just like the U.S. attacking Libya made us all the more hated! Get some historical foundation, away from the politically correct view that has run amok, look at how our founding fathers viewed the Muslim threat (including a quote from Professor George Bush in 1830 [great grand uncle of GHWB]: http://www.theettingerreport.com/OpEd/OpEd—Israel-Hayom/Early-American-Awareness-of-Islamic-Terrorism.aspx

anotherJoe on October 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

It might come as a surprise to some — but not all — how much they have alienated themselves from other Muslim nations as well.

I guess I’m one of the “some”. Spectacular news if true.

I’ll remain cautiously optimistic.

Hang in there ’til November Mr. N….real help is just an election away.

Tim_CA on October 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Azerbaijan

…(JugEars)…”who de?”!

KOOLAID2 on October 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

OT: The Real Eric Holder…

d1carter on October 1, 2012 at 11:58 AM

The relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan was leaked by the Obama administration in MARCH. Any operation that might have been conducted has already been compromised.

If they try it this way now, they could fail or absorb needless casualties because Obama cannot afford to let Israel to succeed and hope to get re-elected. That is how far gone the Democrat voting base is. They would rather see Israel destroyed and Obama lose re-election.

Mord on October 1, 2012 at 12:02 PM

The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him

~Sahih Muslim, Book 41:6985

It is the duty of all muslems to kill Jews down to the last man, woman, and child. If they put that aside for a moment for political advantage, don’t ever think that they’ve forgotten it.

Rebar on October 1, 2012 at 12:02 PM

It’s no longer true today, thanks to the Islamist government now in power in Ankara, but for several decades Turkey was a fairly reliable partner, if not ally, of Israel.

Arabs hate Turks just as much, if not more, than they hate Persians, and Syria is still a rival for regional power with its northern neighbor. The eternal and hopelessly complicated Kurdish issue also gave Turkey reasons at times to favor Israel over its Arabic-speaking neighbors.

But for now, with Turkish secularism giving way to Islamist thinking, it would seem religion is indeed trumping realpolitik in Ankara.

MidniteRambler on October 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Pitting the Azerbaijanis against Iranians might prompt a popular Islamist uprising against the friendly autocracy in power now,

The fact that ~18% of Iran’s population is Azeri could make such a conflict more troublesome for Iran.

agmartin on October 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

The Azeri President must know that the Islamists will not put up with him much longer!At some point these leaders have to understand, they’re in the gun sights of the IslamoFascists who want to take over everything to create their Caliphate!

For those following,How to take on the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 1, 2012 at 1:59 PM

It might come as a surprise to some — but not all — how much they have alienated themselves from [one] other Muslim nations as well.

FTFY, Ed.

Because I see mention of ONE — and only ONE — “Muslim nations” that MAY feel Iran has “alienated” them in your opinion.

We all already know that elements of the Saudi Arabian government monarchy are financiers and coordinators of terrorism and chaos that is in keeping with and in logistical support of Iran’s publicly stated short and long-term goals for decades — and that is the only other Muslim country mentioned.

 

HotAir — Guaranteed Soft & Squishy — Or Your Money Back!

FlatFoot on October 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Azerbaijan isn’t pro-Israel. This is about Race, not religion. The Indo-Aryan Iranians are backing their fellow Indo-Aryans in Armenia against the Turkic Azeri’s who are allied with the Turks and Israelis in an attempt to get back Azeri land from the soviet era that Armenia is occupying. Race trumps religion in many of these issues, especially if those issues involve the Turks in this region.

abobo on October 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Leave it to Ed to trot out the party line.

“We all know that Iran has managed to alienate itself from much of the West with its pursuit of nuclear weapons and fanatical hatred of Israel and the US.”

How dare a sovereign nation pusue nuclear energy and weapons! Don’t they know they must have the American Empire’s permission? And it’s puzzling how people in a country might “hate” a nation who overthrew their government and installed and propped up a dictator in its stead. Weird.

Dante on October 1, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Pitting the Azerbaijanis against Iranians might prompt a popular Islamist uprising against the friendly autocracy in power now,

The fact that ~18% of Iran’s population is Azeri could make such a conflict more troublesome for Iran.

agmartin on October 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Yep. Azerbaijan should get a chunk of Iran, and the Kurds another chunk.

slickwillie2001 on October 1, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Yep. Azerbaijan should get a chunk of Iran, and the Kurds another chunk.

slickwillie2001 on October 1, 2012 at 5:54 PM

And the rest, reduced to a pile of broken and melted glass, could be used in lieu of Yucca Mountain.

coldwarrior on October 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Just because two nations are both Muslim does not mean they are friends. Neighborly rivalries are the norm.

Azerbaijan has some rivalry with Iran because Iran currently controls huge areas populated by millions of ethnic Azeri. Their greatest hope is to see unification of these lands and people, brought about by the collapse of Iranian regime. Obviously they cannot defeat a great power like Iran on their own, which is why they are willing to work with Israel, (which might also lead to stronger, advantageous partnership with USA). “The enemy of my enemy…”

milk on October 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM