Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon has downplayed the recent hysteria over Syria’s chemical weapons, insisting Israel does not believe it is at threat from the Assad government’s arsenal and that there has been no indication of their imminent use.
“Syria has been armed for the last decades with chemical missiles and weapons, but our deterrent factor is stable and the proof is that they haven’t used it against us yet,” noted Ya’alon, a former military chief of staff and a likely candidate to replace Ehud Barak as Defense Minister.
US officials have been the ones fueling reports of a possible use of the chemical weapons, and are likewise leading the call to threaten war against Syria if they are used. So far, however, no evidence has been presented to that effect.
The lack of concern from Israel is telling about the seriousness of the putative “threat,” however, particularly given this Israeli government’s tendency to see existential threats in almost anything.