Why isn’t Israel fighting ISIS?



According to Jürgen Todenhöfer who spent 10 days in the “Islamic State” last year, Israel is the only country in the world that ISIS fears. Apparently, ISIS is not intimidated by the U.S. nor the U.K., because ISIS believes they can defeat their ground troops.

ISIS has not been open about this weakness, and has even made threats against Israel and Jewish people in its propaganda videos.

So, if Israel is the only country feared by ISIS, why aren't they fighting ISIS?


Posted 2016-03-29T22:04:58.547

Reputation: 2 641

8They are probably advised to stay out of it since if they join in it may cause other participants fighting against IS to back down. The entire situation is messy enough as it is. It's not just IS against everybody else. There are Kurds who fight against IS and Turkey. There is Turkey who fights against Kurds and IS (while backing them in other ways). There is the Bashar al-Assad regime who fights IS and various other groups. There is IS who fights everyone else. There is Russia who fights against everyone opposed to al-Assad. – liftarn – 2016-03-30T07:05:22.640

4A paralel that illustrates @SVilcans comments could be the first Gulf War, in which Irak launched Scuds against Israel in an attempt to convert the conflic in a Muslim-Western war, and Israel was asked by the USA not to retaliate to avoid some Arab allies trouble at home because of joining forces with Israel. That said, it is just one of the possibilities. – SJuan76 – 2016-03-30T07:18:11.390

I would assume it is because the Israelis are busy enough fighting the Hamas and don't have the resources to fight yet another terrorist threat. – Philipp – 2016-03-30T11:02:12.047


@user1 The British government did not create Wahabism, that is absurdly ignorant. This sect is a consequence of Saudi history and internal politics.

– inappropriateCode – 2017-06-23T12:15:00.403



  1. Because they don't pose an immediate threat that needs to be countered ASAP

    • ISIS isn't a tangible current threat to Israel's existence.

      They are definitely a threat to Syria or Iraq strategically. They pose varied levels of threat to other Middle East countries. But they don't have the military capability to attack Israel as a fighting force, not anytime soon.

      Additionally, they aren't an ideological threat. DAESH's main ideology is about confronting "Rome" - Christian Western states are its main opponent.

    • They aren't the highest tactical threat either

      Yes they would probably love to launch a terrorist attack against Israel; but they are far less likely to do so than Palestinian Authority or Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad.

      Israel has finite resources (actionable assets, political capital, budget, time); and those resources are far better invested in countering the above threats.

    • They don't have a broad base of support among Palestinians, because Palestinians are already committed to existing movements. Commingled loyalties (a new counter-terrorism term for people who are influenced by both ISIS and another extremist group) are possible, but ISIS doesn't offer all that much to a radicalized Palestinian that Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah would.

  2. Because Israel has nothing tangible to gain by fighting ISIS

    • As noted above, ISIS is low on Israel's threat level, so there's no threat reduction to achieve

    • Israel won't get any positive side effects from doing so.

      Western liberals who already sympathize with non-ISIS terrorists won't change their opinion. Arab countries populace won't change their opinion either.

  3. There are tangible downsides to fighting ISIS for Israel

    • It will piss off Saudis, Turkey and other anti-Shia block Sunni countries who are either indirectly allied with ISIS, or at the very least benefit from ISIS fight with Iran, Heznollah and Al-Assad who are their enemies.

    • It will immediately be spinned off by western MSM and definitely Arab media as "Evil joos attacking Muslims" (as evidence, witness Western media coverage of the current situation: when a Palestinia terrorist attacks Israelis, and is killed, it's immediately spun off as "Palestinian killed", not "Palestinian tried to kill Israelis and gets killed in self-defense")

    • It will potentially harm the current anti-ISIS coalition which includes Arab/Muslim countries.

      Same thing happened with Gulf War I, when USA was concerned that Israel attacking Iraq will shatter their coalition with Arab states and thus prohibited Israel from even responding to SCUD missile attacks, never mind joining the coalition.

    • It will take finite resources away from countering more tangible threats to Israel (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, PA)

    • At this point, ISIS' main tactical enemy (or one of them) is Hezbollah, so attacking ISIS will backfire on Israel in that it will "help" Hezbollah indirectly. They more they fight ISIS in Syria, the less they pay attention to attacking Israel.


Posted 2016-03-29T22:04:58.547

Reputation: 84 347

Why don't hezbollah and israel join force to attack ISIS? Because they hate each other more. – user4951 – 2018-04-15T03:40:57.817

3Although these arguments are valid, the answer seems to be incomplete without mentioning that ISIS fights against Hezbollah, which is highly profitable for Israel. – Matt – 2016-03-30T15:05:33.653

@Matt - oups, was planning to add but got distracted. Done – user4012 – 2016-03-30T17:19:58.613

When Daesh's main ideology is about confronting "Rome", as you stated, why they are killing mainly Muslims and Shias in particular? – Noor – 2016-04-03T18:43:36.773

1@Noor - Technically, because they are heretics according to their religious rules. Conceptually, same reason Stalin killed far more mensheviks and then communists than capitalist spies (or because feminist/pro-gay liberals in the west hate Israel, with its shared pro-liberal values, far more than Iran where they stone adulterous women and gays; or because said western liberals hate Christian conservatives, who haven't stoned women or gays for centuries far more than Iran - literally). To whit, your main enemy is someone who is like you but "heretic", and not someone alien to you. – user4012 – 2016-04-03T19:20:34.937

Aside from weakening Hezbollah, a weaker (or worse) Syria would be beneficial to Israel, especially since Syria is close to Iran. – Shautieh – 2017-02-19T14:29:12.440