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Former Head of Mossad: Israel could benefit from regional religious struggle

February 11, 2014 at 10:59 am


Efraim Halevi, Israel’s former Head of Mossad, has said that Israel could benefit from what he describes as a struggle between religion and modernity in the Middle East.

Adopting an Orientalist view of the Arab and Muslim nations, while using a completely different framework for understanding his own country, Halevy believes that Israel is currently faced with a confluence of practical, strategical and political “operational choices” that could propel both the Israeli occupation and the entire Middle East to greater security.

He cites three major developments in the Arab and Muslim nations:

The first is the conflict between Sunnis and Shi’is. Halevy suggests that although Israel is not directly involved in this struggle, the occupation could still benefit from a Shi’i defeat.

The second is the struggle between religion and secularism, or tradition versus modernity. While Halevy says that Israel is not a player in this struggle either, he believes that Israel could benefit if Western secular values prevail over religious ideology.

And the third confrontation, which is the most important according to Halevy, is the conflict between what he calls religious ideology and pragmatism or realpolitik. Here he asserts that Israel does have a role to play, saying that Israel “has much to offer, and much to gain”.