There is a common proverb, that every problem has within it an opportunity. Some people are very scared that the Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL) represents a distinct imminent threat to Israel. But here are some reasons why IS actually is a good thing for Israel:
- All the major powers are fighting IS, incredibly both Russia and the US and all its allies are all attacking IS at the same time. Even the US (under Obama) sat down and talked about the future of Syria with Iran. Whatever they agree you can be sure they will both be against IS. So although up to now IS has been on a winning streak, and although the air campaign of the Russians and the US and its allies cannot alone destroy IS, they can keep it under control for a while and with increasingly effective ground support, including the Kurds, they are likely to gradually crush IS.
- In every country there are Islamic extremists who want to carry out terrorist acts and destroy western civilization. How much more convenient is it to destroy them if they decide in fact to go to Syria to fight for IS. They are concentrating in Syria, over 1,200 French extremist Muslims, 600 from the UK and so on from around Europe. How much easier to destroy them all together in the fighting and air attacks than if they were spread around the world.
- Israel has not until now been engaged in direct contact with the IS, but Israel sees the Iranians as a much greater immediate threat. But, IS is keeping the Iranians busy, including their proxy Hizbollah from Lebanon. There are reports that Hizbollah have lost 4,000 fighters in combat in Syria. If so that is a major loss and certainly reduces their capability to attack Israel. So the IS is drawing Israel’s enemies away from potential conflict with Israel.
- None of the combatants in Syria or elsewhere in the Arab world, that includes the fundamental Sunni-Shia clash, have much time for the Palestinians. In fact because the Israel-Palestine conflict it is essentially insoluble and because Israel is too strong for them to attack, they are basically leaving the Palestinians to themselves. But, all the Palestinians in the West Bank can do is attack civilians with knives and a few guns. And Hamas is quiet now, not wanting to risk another attack like they suffered from the IDF last time in Operation Defensive Edge. Even the Americans are getting tired of the Palestinians resort to violence and no other strategy and they have reduced their aid to the PA by m$80.
So basically all Israel has to do is sit here, continue to be strong and prosperous, kill as many Palestinian terrorists as possible, and eventually the attacks will peter out, and meanwhile Israel’s enemies will be killing each other. How convenient.