Of late, Syrian oppositionists who have either been neutral when it comes to Israel or those whose views have neglected Israel all together, to concentrate on the rapidly deteriorating situation inside Syria, have begun a disturbing finger pointing campaign at our neighbor to the south for secretly maintaining the status quo in Syria.
Some of them cited articles they read by strong pro-Israel Americans who adjudicated a non-interventionist Syrian policy without being able to name any one in particular (I insisted on getting names because I have my own beef with those oxymoronic intellectuals).
Some I know have even gone further by accusing Israel by name of being the architect of the Syrian policy at the White House; thus influencing Obama directly and using its lobby in a year of election to stop any decisive aid to the Syrian people.
It’s hard to condense how America works in a 30-minute conversation with people whose views of how Democracy works in America is below basic. It’s even harder to explain Obama‘s policies because many of those Syrians inhale bad information as a result of their milieu. A milieu that forces them to exhale conspiracies. So, I listen patiently, interrupt little, let them air their anger and tribal passion and when they are out of breath, I try and tell them why Israel‘s insecurities drive their policies and how Assad adds to these insecurities, not diminish them.
I don’t do this to defend Israel because that’s not my job but I do it to keep their eyes on the ball; to keep them focused on their abilities to influence positively rather than blame someone else; and on their capacity to help Syrians understand the myriad of conflicting forces at work in the region. The more they understand the faster Syria will transition from the Assad era to a New Syria.
Whether this is a short-lived trend or not, I cannot tell. But it would not surprise me if the Assad regime, with so many planted oppositionists in every corner, is resorting to direct the oppositionists’ attention elsewhere as this family from hell has done over its miserable existence. Whether the concern of these opposition figures is something that should be fixed with a counter campaign in order to limit the damage is a decision that rests with those professionals in the field at the US State Department. Needless to say it is damaging to our future to let Syrians run away with imaginatively bad ideas so early in the game.
One last note; since I’m an American-Syrian and a Sunni Muslim (The former by choice but the latter not so much), I am trusted with information Syrians will trust no one else with. They know exactly where I stand on any matter and they know that I am brutally honest with them.
Credit this last point to my visit to Israel at noon to show the Israelis the true Syrian character when many other Syrians and non-Syrians like me choose to visit her at midnight.