For the first time, the interests of Syrians and Israelis are aligned almost perfectly.
In the post-Ottoman era, Syria has gone through multiple metamorphic political orders while trying to strike a balance between independence and a constitutional structure to ameliorate our lives. After many attempts, Syria settled on a bad system run by the worst family. This explains the resilience of the Syrian street to save whatever is left of Syria.
Today, young Syrians protesting the Assad regime have managed, through courage and sacrifices, to generate hope for a better future. But lurking behind palatial closed doors are dark forces intent on asphyxiating Syrian freedom by presenting an alternative “solution.”
These forces have suggesting a powersharing arrangement between the Assad family and the Syrian National Council. The SNC is majority-ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The idea to merge Assad’s evil with Islamist evil is an idea mutated in the kitchens of the Arab League and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rob Syrians of their freedom.
One school of thought currently popular amongst policy makers in Washington is that in order to free the West from the burden of spreading Jeffersonian freedom, the US needs to hand over freed Arab countries to the bureaucrats best organized to shoulder that responsibility.
In other words, the Islamists of Hamas and the Brotherhood. And what better medium to implement these policies than Erdogan? Such ideas are gaining currency inside the Obama administration and are being spread by Dalia Mogahed, the president’s adviser on Muslim affairs, and Huma Abedin, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Both are ardent supporters of the Brotherhood, but neither is Syrian. Both may speak Arabic, but that does not mean they understand the needs and aspirations of people in Syria.
Then there are the Arab rulers who see the demise of Assad as a threat to their own self-interests. They want to abrogate any notion that the Libya model could be repeated in their neighborhoods.
However, absent from their self-serving calculations to conspire against the Syrian street is the anticipated reaction of our youths dying. In my view, they will resist all attemps to keep Assad alive.
There are already clear that this is so.
The Syrian street knows that both the Arab League and Erdogan oppose instituting a no-fly zone over Syria because they do not want a repeat of what happened in Libya so close to home. The street believes this is contrary to its interests.
Furthermore, young opposition leaders like Ahmad Jomah and Ammar Qurabi, who have gained a strong following within the Local Coordination Committees, are beginning to send high-voltage signals that the solution rests in Assad’s demise. Their message has plenty of listeners inside Syria.
The Local Coordination Committees that I have spoken to have already printed the posters denying and challenging the legitimacy of the SNC should their plan to share power with Assad come to fruition. Furthermore, they are backing a new Transitional Military Council that will be announced soon to play a pivotal role, with the Free Syrian Army inside the country, acting not only to free Syria but also to determine its future. I believe that supporting such endeavor is a a safe bet because most of Syrian Islamists are gathered under the SNC tent.
Some active US-based Syrian dissidents, organized under an umbrella organization called the Syrian Democracy Council (SDC), are wedged between the Assad evil and the Muslim Brotherhood one. Their vision backs a decentralized Federal Syria where local provinces decide their political, religious, cultural, societal, and educational laws. If championed by a strong Constitution to protect the collective wishes of all the people, this model could yield the best vision for our future.
Those dissidents have also a strong following inside the country, including support by the Free Syrian Army fighting in the streets. SDC will garner a major boost from the US Congress in the coming weeks. Personally, I believe the SDC has the best chance to succeed for its vision and has the respect of the Local Coordinating Committees because it operates quietly and effectively.
The international community should throw its weight behind what is shaping to be a merger between the political arm of the SDC and the operational arm of the FSA. I am told the FSA will soon announce its Transitional Military Council to reign-in any conspiracies.
The events unfolding in Syria are providing the region with new, unprecedented opportunities. For the first time, common denominators between Syrian and Israeli interests are aligned almost perfectly. The Syrian street is willing to compromise on a garden variety of issues to secure its freedom and the Israeli people are willing to strike a peace agreement that would bring peace of mind to your country.
How we capitalize on this blessed alignment has yet to be explored. However, if you take into account young Syrians today who are so hungry for a leader to free them from their misery, the brew becomes quite potent indeed. Syrians are craving for an honest hero who will save them when everyone else has abandoned them to the Assad wolves.
No country should control Syria’s future. Not Turkey, not Iraq, not Saudi Arabia, and not Israel. But, of all of our neighbors, Israelis understand this concept better than most having suffered much from outside interference. It is time for the good guys to decide what is best for the region.
The writer heads the US-based Reform Party of Syria and has a blog dedicated to Syrian politics and Islam.
“For the first time, the interests of Syrians and Israelis are aligned almost perfectly.”
I think their interests have been aligned since 1945. Both peoples want to live in peace and concentrate on economic development in a free environment.
All the Arab attacks on Israel have been for the benefit of the Arab elite – landowners and religious authorities – and have done only harm to the ordinary people.
That’s a good point. In fact, the Syrian government signed an armistice peace agreement with Israel in 1949, one year after the creation of Israel.
From 1949 until 1956, Syria experienced a series of coups, which saw 20 different cabinets formed and 4 different constitutions drafted. To coalesce the Syrian people and to unite them behind a cause that diluted the incompetence of the politicians at the time, Shukri al-Quwatli saw in the Suez Canal crisis an opportunity to divert our attention away from local politics towards Israel. Ever since, this policy has been successful in bringing more misery to Syrians than ever in our contemporary history because we were more concerned about defending the Palestinians from Israel than protecting our own homeland from the rotten political systems that were taking roots, especially the Ba’ath party.
While Israel built their home, we were busy throwing stones at them from the ruins of our own home.