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February 5, 2013

WJC ANALYSIS – No time to waste in Syria

By Pinhas Inbari

The reported Israeli military strike on a Syrian arms convoy destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the non-conventional weapons production center near Damascus has put the Jewish state in the midst of the Syrian conflict. Israel can no longer afford the luxury to view the war across its border with indifference. It must hurry and decide what kind of Syria it would like to have on its doorstop, as other powers have already been trying to bend Syria’s political future to their ends, which do not serve Israel either politically or on matters of security. In the best-case scenario the linkage between Iran, Syria and Lebanon would be severed.


Regional actors have already embarked on a number of policies to influence Syria. Turkey and Qatar aim to establish a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Damascus similar to those in Gaza, Egypt and Tunisia. Saudi Arabia has put its weight behind the Salafist Jihadists and the Nusra terrorists (i.e. al-Qaeda). The Saudis share Turkey and Qatar’s desire to topple the Assad regime but disagree on the choice of his replacement. While they do not have a particular regime change formula in mind, above all the Saudi kingdom does not want the Muslim Brotherhood to get the upper hand.

A few weeks ago, it was reported that an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood terrorist cell was arrested in the Gulf just before it was able to carry out a series of attacks designed to shake the stability of the region. Accordingly, al-Qaeda’s forces in Syria are not advancing an agenda of their own, but are rather spreading anarchy to prevent the takeover of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Both scenarios are bad for Israel, be it a strong proto-Turkish rule of Afghan-style jihadist anarchy.

To make matters worse, there is a possibility of the two scenarios colliding. For example, al-Qaeda’s Nusra forces’ headquarters are located in Istanbul. So, while Turkey is a major Muslim Brotherhood backer, it has not ruled out possible cooperation with the Salafists. In fact, with the Nusra forces established as the predominant military force within the Syrian opposition, it has become a de facto armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Worse still, the Muslim Brotherhood has been recently cozying up to Iran. Therefore, a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Syria, backed both by hostile Turkey and belligerent Iran – with a touch of Salafist Jihadists – would be a nightmare for Jerusalem.

Outlandish as it may seem, this scenario is firmly grounded in reality. One look at the Muslim Brotherhood leader Muaz al-Khatib, who wears an open shirt with no tie, à la mode in Iran, suggests a very conscious emulation of President Ahmadinejad. Last weekend, al-Khatib went further by openly supporting the Russian-Iranian proposal to solve the current crisis in Syria by suggesting that President Assad remain as head of state in the interim period.

With Hamas in Gaza engaged in a similar game with Iran, the time has come for Israel to consider its allies in the region and search for a favorable solution to the Syrian crisis. First, the danger posed by both possible outcomes in Syria to Israel is shared by Israel’s neighbor Jordan. Furthermore, despite their help to the Salafist forces in Syria, Saudi and Gulf states’ actions in that country are destructive rather than productive, for they do not bring a tangible solution but only attempt to destroy the undesirable outcome.

Saudi Arabia is working to make sure a centralist Syria ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood and linked to either Turkey or Iran does not materialize. Therefore, it would be possible for Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to find common ground and a new formula for a federated Syria that would allow power-sharing by its various ethnic and religious groups.

This formula is heavily favored by the Kurds, but can find support among other minorities in the country, including the Sunnis in Aleppo. Even the Alawites, who now control the army, may come to recognize the benefit of putting an end to the conflict through power-sharing, which would halt the bloodshed before it enters the Alawite coastal region.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 7:52 am | 5 Comments »

    5 Comments to WJC ANALYSIS – No time to waste in Syria

    1. Max says:

      So some sanity at last.
      Did that hurt?
      Much?
      Yeah it does, it hurts to hate so much you want the wrong thing.
      ———————
      Obama Blocked Rebel Arms White House Opposed Pentagon, CIA, State Plan to Ship Weapons to Syrian Resistance http://on.wsj.com/122xGLE via @WSJ

      As y’all remember, 99 percent here want this plan not to arm the FSA and OOPS that’s exactly what Obama wants.

      Imagine that! You wanted just what the Manchurian candidate wanted you to want. Isolationism is not a variable strategy.

    2. Bernard Ross says:

      Max Said:

      99 percent here want this plan not to arm the FSA

      Perhaps its because they are as anti Israel and anti semitic as the others. you will know this if you read their recent statements regarding Israels recent Syrian attack.
      Max Said:

      OOPS that’s exactly what Obama wants.

      You are incredibly naiive. Obama makes a show of not arming them because there have been criticism that he is supporting a MB/Islamist takeover: which he is. The naiive part is that you do not understand the role that the Saudis and Quatari play and that Obama is allied with them in this venture. He does ot neeed to supply arms because they can handle any illegal, controversial or inconvenient necessities of the deal. Who do you think funds the Salafists and qaeda mercenaries and why couldn’t they do the same with arms supplies? You apparently still do not understand that Benghazi exposed US attempts to move arms from Libya to Syria and that this clandestine behavior caused political problems for Obama? Hence, he distances himself from overtly supplying the jihadists(who form the majority of the opposition)

    3. Max says:

      “Why did Mr. Obama overrule his advisers on Syria?”
      This article is subtitled ‘Why did Israpundits lose their common sense?”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-did-mr-obama-overrule-his-advisers-on-syria/2013/02/07/e80fa8c0-715d-11e2-ac36-3d8d9dcaa2e2_story.html

      Bernard’s example of twisted thinking based on hate and paranoia is a guaranteed path to self-destruction. That path ends up at Waco or with Jim Jones and the koolaid. Any culture that has no ability to wage peace is infected with a fatal sickness towards it’s members as well as the outside world. This is the characteristic of all fascist systems.

    4. Bernard Ross says:

      @ Max: suddenly you turn to the MSM for support after deriding it for twitter. do you really belive political statements are based on truth or on pragmatism. Obama says what is convenient. Your same article talks about the resigning petraeus and the “sick” clinton. You would be wise to look closer into the reasons for resigning and being sick.
      Your WP article says the following
      “An opposition that once was a peaceful pro-democracy movement has been all but overtaken by jihadist organizations, including an al-Qaeda affiliate, that receive ample funding and weapons supplies from abroad.” Haven’t you noticed how these same mercenaries keep popping up?
      One thing is certain all the syrian groups are against Israel and the Jews.,same shit

    5. Max says:

      @ Bernard Ross:

      troll troll troll…

      You did the same old troll tactic of taking partial quotes out of context like in that text. And you did the other same old troll tactic of making a bogus interpretation of what I said , a misrepresentation and then arguing against that. Trolls argue about anything except to be honest about what their real intention is and why it is. Try to spit it out – why you feel so angry and why you need to ‘get’ Max. What is it about ‘Max’ that bothers you so much? What is the truth that is said that you cannot tolerate?

      You and the other Israpunters need to learn to love human beings as humans beings – you need to understand your enemies as human beings you need to learn to love your enemies. You only kill your enemies with sadness and regret – if you have not yet evolved to that level than your cause is not just and you are not worthy to survive.

      Try to make some friends with Gazans and Lebanese – you don’t have to take them home with you – just try to to understand what is human and what it is like to be human and you may yet become human yourself. If there is no bad blood on your hands it may not yet be to late.
      If you can become human you will learn the true enemy of freedom is fascism in all forms. And in that as yet there is no government in the world that is not run by fascists ..but there can be. Just because the current winners are undemocratic fascists (in Israel and North America and every other country – make no mistake about it – they are all fascist run by lies and deceits) does not mean you have to be nor does it mean the only possible system is fascism.
      Democracy and freedom is possible – you just have to give up hatred and scapegoating ‘enemies’ for your own selfish ends.
      Save yourself from yourself – there is still time.

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