UPDATES

Israeli leaders on Syria, revisited

Jun 14, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Israeli leaders on Syria
news_item/peres.jpg

In a follow-up to last week’s blog post concerning the myth of Israeli backing for Assad, Israeli president Shimon Peres has become Israel’s highest level official to openly back the Syrian rebels against the forces of Bashar Assad. 

On Saturday night, Peres told Israel Radio 

 

“The killings are growing more and more every day and it’s scandalous,” Peres said. “I have much respect for the rebels who go out to protests everyday, facing live fire, and I hope they win.”

 

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz – leader of the Knesset’s largest faction Kadima and a recent addition to the Israeli cabinet –  became the top official within Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to call for international military intervention against Assad.

In his own remarks to the media, Mofaz compared the case for intervention against Syria to that of the international response against Libya last year.

“A crime against humanity, genocide, is being conducted in Syria today. And the silence of the world powers is contrary to all human logic,” Mofaz told Israel’s Army Radio.
“Since in the not-distant past the powers chose military intervention in Libya, here the required conclusion would be immediate military intervention to bring down the Assad regime.”

To date, Netanyahu has avoided openly calling for intervention out of concern that such a statement would play into Assad’s hands. “That’s a decision for the leading powers who are now talking about it. The less I say as prime minister of Israel, the better,” Netanyahu told a German newspaper last week.
In his remarks to the press, however, Mofaz stressed that Israel could not intervene – but the West can and should.

“We cannot get involved, for understandable reasons. But I think that the West, led by the United States, has an interest in guarding the threshold (so) genocide does not take place.”

The Kadima leader also lashed out at Russia for continuing to arm Assad. 

“[Russia] weakly condemns the slaughter while continuing to arm Assad’s murderous regime. Best-case scenario, this is irresponsible, and worst-case, it is a partnership in the slaughter,” Mofaz said.

Meanwhile, former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has also fingered Russia as an accomplice to Syrian repression.

In a piece published in the latest National Review, Bolton called for regime change in Syria as part of an overall US policy shift in the Middle East that would send a message to Russia and Iran.

Syria’s Assad family-Baath party dictatorship had nothing to recommend it before the current conflict, other than its being the devil we knew. Now, it is increasingly an Iranian satellite under Tehran’s growing regional influence. Syria remains a threat to Israel; has continuing aspirations to control Lebanon while serving as a conduit to supply and support the terrorist group Hezbollah; provides a base of operations for Russian military activity in the Middle East; and is quite possibly the site of ongoing, illicit nuclear-weapons activity by Iran and North Korea, despite Israel’s destruction of a Syrian nuclear reactor in September 2007.
Accordingly, regime change in Syria is prima facie in America’s interest as well as the interests of Israel and our Arab friends in the region, who see nothing but danger for themselves if Iran’s hegemonic ambitions unfold successfully.

Bolton outlined three steps that the US should take:

First and foremost, we should cut Syria off from its major supporters. The television images from Syria will not change permanently until the underlying strategic terrain changes permanently. Russia should be told in no uncertain terms that it can forget about sustained good relations with the United States as long as it continues to back Assad…
Next, we should tell Iran that our patience with their decade-long ploy of using diplomacy to gain time to advance their nuclear-weapons program has ended. Tehran should face a stark choice, and we can leave to their imagination what will happen if they fail immediately to dismantle all aspects of their existing nuclear effort. We should also reverse the fantasy still trumpeted by Obama that, despite its repeated violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty over 20 years, Iran is somehow entitled to a “peaceful” nuclear program. Until there is a new, trustworthy regime in Tehran, there can be no claim to benefits or “rights” under a treaty Iran has grossly abused. We should introduce this new reality to our European friends as well, perhaps by simply being unambiguous with them.
Finally, in Syria itself, we should do now what we could have begun to do ten years ago (and what the Obama White House at least says it is doing now): find Syrian rebel leaders who are truly secular and who oppose radical Islam; who will disavow al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups; and who will reject Russian and Iranian hegemony over their country. 

Ahron Shapiro

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Palestinian Red Crescent workers from Al-Najjar Hospital in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on January 10, 2024 (Image: Shutterstock)

Hamas’ impossible casualty figures

Mar 28, 2024 | Update
455daec3 C2a8 8752 C215 B7bd062c6bbc

After the Israel-Hamas ceasefire for hostages deal

Nov 29, 2023 | Update
Screenshot of Hamas bodycam footage as terrorists approach an Israeli vehicle during the terror organisation's October 7, 2023 attack in southern Israel, released by the IDF and GPO (Screenshot)

Horror on Video / International Law and the Hamas War

Oct 31, 2023 | Update
Sderot, Israel. 7th Oct, 2023. Bodies of dead Israelis lie on the ground following the attacks of Hamas (Image: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News)

Israel’s Sept. 11, only worse

Oct 11, 2023 | Update
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu (r) gets his long-awaited face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden in New York (Photo: Avi Ohayon, Israeli Government Press Office)

Netanyahu meets Biden, other world leaders, in New York

Sep 27, 2023 | Update
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who gave an address on Aug. 28 threatening the US and laying out the Iranian-led axis's new "unity of the arenas" doctrine. (Photo: Shutterstock, mohammad kassir)

US-Iran prisoner swap deal set to go through

Sep 12, 2023 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Screenshot

“There is a distinct lack of leadership not just here in Australia but in other jurisdictions [too]”: Joel Burnie on Sky News

Eden Golan performs 'Hurricane' at Eurovision 2024 (image: screenshot)

Holding on to hope in the eye of a hurricane

1

Antisemitic campus extremists don’t understand meaning of free speech

Image: X/ Twitter

Palestine vote the worst of all worlds for Australia

Screenshot 2024 05 14 At 12.20.28 PM

Australian UN vote ultimately rewards the terrorism of October 7 – Natasha Hausdorff on Sky News

Screenshot

“There is a distinct lack of leadership not just here in Australia but in other jurisdictions [too]”: Joel Burnie on Sky News

Eden Golan performs 'Hurricane' at Eurovision 2024 (image: screenshot)

Holding on to hope in the eye of a hurricane

1

Antisemitic campus extremists don’t understand meaning of free speech

Image: X/ Twitter

Palestine vote the worst of all worlds for Australia

Screenshot 2024 05 14 At 12.20.28 PM

Australian UN vote ultimately rewards the terrorism of October 7 – Natasha Hausdorff on Sky News

SORT BY TOPICS