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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Could the end of Assad lead to a compromise on the Golan?

Eyal Zisser has a lengthy analysis of what the success of the Syrian uprising might mean for Israel. I urge you to read the whole thing. I want to particularly call your attention to this:
The Syrian regime should be considered a strategic threat to Israel because Bashar al-Assad has sought to develop nuclear capabilities. He provided support to Hamas and Hizbullah - not the kind of support his father used to give them, but strategic support which turned Hizbullah into a major strategic threat to Israel. Bashar was the one who brought the Iranians to Syria and to the region. The Iranians had been present, but only as guests. Now they are in a different position and the alliance became closer. At the same time, Bashar maintained quiet on the Golan Heights border and said he wanted to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

The Syrian ruler came to the conclusion that having a nuclear capability was what saved the North Korean regime, and that what enabled the Americans to attack Saddam Hussein was the fact that he did not have a nuclear option. A different Syrian regime may not have the economic resources and the intimate links to North Korea and Iran, and might not feel the need for a nuclear capability. It could be that Syria under a new regime will be different than Syria under the Assad dynasty. Hafez al-Assad, with Western help, was able to turn Syria - a small, backward state - into a regional power. Take the Assad dynasty out of the equation and Syria will remain an important state geographically, but not the regional power it was before.

As for peace with Israel, there was something personal in the Syrian demand for an Israeli withdrawal to the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee because Hafez al-Assad, as defense minister, was the one who lost the war in 1967. If you remove the Assad dynasty from the equation, perhaps the Syrian stance will become more flexible.
If they don't overthrow Assad, we'll never find out, but it certainly might make things easier if the retrieval of the Golan were not a personal crusade of the Syrian leader.

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At 8:31 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

if we have a peace treaty with Syria, what will protect Eretz Israel being overrun buy hundreds of thousand poor Syrians looking for work and better livelihood ?


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