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Why Israel will warmly welcome Mattis

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are expected to discuss the threat of Iran's presence in Syria at a time when Israel is pleased with the United States' involvement in the region.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is seen at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, U.S. April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTX35G3Z
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Israel sees the April 20-21 visit of Defense Secretary James Mattis as a critical milestone in shaping the new relationship between the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government.

The most important "safety instruction" being distributed to all senior officials in Israel on the eve of Mattis' visit is that under no circumstances should they use the moniker "Mad Dog," which Mattis has carried with him since his days in the Marines. One senior Israeli defense source told Al-Monitor this week on condition of anonymity, "The region all around us is full of 'mad dogs,' who are uncontrollable and unpredictable. Mattis represents those forces trying to bring stability to the chaos and restore America's role as the responsible adult and regional sheriff in the Middle East."

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