Israeli Perspectives on Syria

(BICOM) Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Herzog - Recent developments confirm that nearly 40 years of quiet on the Syria border are about to end. From the Israeli side of the border on the Golan Heights you can see the fighting inside Syria with your own eyes. I still believe that there are sufficient insurgent forces not connected to jihadists or Islamists, and that weapons should be provided to them. Every day that goes by with the West continuing to be passive helps radicalize the conflict. It empowers Islamists at the expense of non-Islamists, and it highlights the asymmetry between the active role being played by Russia, Hizbullah and Iran in support of Assad, and the passive role being played by the West in countering Assad. I am not advocating military intervention by the West, but I would still support providing weapons to carefully vetted non-Islamist forces. The fact that Hizbullah is so invested in the war in Syria has some advantages for Israel. Hizbullah is almost totally focused on Syria rather than Israel, they are losing people there, and their involvement triggers a lot of criticism in the Sunni Arab street and in Lebanon itself, where they are under a lot of pressure. Sheikh Qardawi, the spiritual leader of the Sunni world, recently stated publicly that Hizbullah is worse than Jews and Christians.

2013-06-19 00:00:00

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