By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
For about a week now, Israelis have been experiencing a communal, albeit minor, panic attack.
People have been swarming to gas mask distribution centers and getting gas masks, filters and atropine injections.
This renewed surge towards gas mask preparedness comes in response to a series of serious, rhetorical, threats from both Syria and Iran. Syria and Iran have been making it known that if anyone attacks Syria, Israel will bear the brunt of the retaliation, and many Israelis are taking them at their word.
Understandably, Israelis are frightened. And the best way to defend themselves is by making certain that their loved ones have their gas masks. The religious community, by the way, is upset because there are not enough masks for bearded men- but there are never enough masks for the bearded community.
Honestly, Israelis should not be so fearful. There is very little chance that either Syria or Iran will strike Israel if there is an America or Western surgical attack against Damascus.
Priority number one for Bashar Assad is survival and an attack against Israel that would surely result in an Israeli counterstrike would potentially destroy his entire regime. Assad and Iran both know that.
So while there may be an errant rocket that lifts off from Syria and lands in Israel, no chemical weapons and no planned air force or missile onslaught will be heading their way. At least, not now and not because of any action taken by the United States or other Western forces.
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