Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Are You With Israel or Syria? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tunisian protestors hold a large Syrian flag on May 6, 2013 during a demonstration in Tunis following Israeli air raids on Syria. Source: AFP Photo/Fethi Belhaid

There is no need to support either. When Israel attacks the Syrian regime, it is defending its security and its interests. We are willing to accept that Assad’s forces and their storage facilities have been attacked, since this helps disarm the regim and accelerate its collapse.

Only Iran’s supporters condemned the attack. They did so out of fear for Tehran’s allies, including Hezbollah and Assad—not because of their hostility towards Israel.

Two years of massacres against unarmed Syrians has unveiled the greatest lie in the history of the country—the lie of resistance and opposition. The Syrian regime has never truly been against Israel, nor has it really defended Palestine: that was pure propaganda. Only a few knew this truth, while we were seduced by the lie.

Hezbollah and its operations against Israel have no interest in protecting Lebanon or defending Palestine. It is merely an Iranian brigade that was founded more than 30 years ago in order to secure the interests of the ayatollah in Tehran. Over the years, Iran and the Assad clan, have sought to hijack the Palestinian cause in order to dominate Syria, occupy Lebanon and serve Iranian interests.

Other groups and their leaders also did this—leaders like Abu Nidal, the founder of Fatah, and Ahmad Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command, as well as assorted other figures claiming resistance against Israel. All of them aimed to confront and assassinate the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s leadership under the late president, Yasser Arafat.

Both Mohammed Mursi’s Egyptian government and Iran have essentially supported Assad by denouncing the Israeli air strikes. The stance of Mursi’s cabinet—which is biased towards Iran, and thus in turn biased towards Assad—would have been excused if it had played an effective role in supporting the Free Syrian Army.

So far, however, its public stance has been with Iran and Russia, which explicitly support Assad.

Mursi’s cabinet joined Moscow and Tehran in calling for what it referred to as a “political solution” to the Syrian crisis, and for national reconciliation between Assad’s regime and the opposition. This is not only a shameful stance but also impossible to achieve, considering the two years of slaughter and destruction carried out by Assad’s forces and his Shabiha (thugs).

Despite Egyptian and Iranian condemnation, it is certain that the Syrian people were happy that Assad’s warehouses and forces were shelled—regardless of Israel’s reasoning. The Syrians will be even happier if Turkey responds to the violations of its sovereignty and attacks the forces instead of merely issuing condemnations and statements.

Syrians are fed up with statements, which in fact anger them a lot more than they grant them hope. And they are not concerned about regional political calculations regarding who shells Assad, whether they are Israelis, Westerners or Arabs. What matters the most for them is that this war machine—publicly supported by the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah—be destroyed.