Israelis finally pick a side in Syria: They want Assad to fall

Story here.

Issues for debate:

  1. Will this make any difference in Syria? Nobody there ever before seemed to care much what the Israelis think. OTOH, Israeli support of the rebels might actually embarrass them, and by the same token Assad could use this for propaganda purposes. On the gripping hand, might the Israelis now start sending the rebels material support?

  2. Are the Israelis right, that in this case the Devil they don’t know is better than the Devil they do? How much of a threat is Iran (or Hezbollah, for that matter) to Israel anyway?

What’s your position?

I’d rather Assad go the way of Gaddafi, he’s a right bastard, and the Islamists are only one faction of the rebels anyway; but, no matter who wins this war, I deeply fear that there is no way it can end well (i.e., with no ethnic cleansing, etc.). And as to which outcome would be good or less-bad for the Israelis, I have no position at all.

Like we didn’t know that from before.

Al Q is the invention of the same strategy that produced Hamas.

Israel picked their side long ago; this is just the most open acknowledgment to date (they don’t run their mouths like some politicos we know). Peres signaled their readiness for and expectation of a post-Assad Syria last year. And the Israeli military have actually attacked Assad’s forces themselves, at least three times since the civil war began.

It seems like Al Q-aligned rebels are probably less of a problem for the Israelis, and more of a problem for USA, and Iran-aligned Assad is probably less of a problem for the USA and more of a problem for the Israelis.

There’s ~1000 miles between Tel Aviv and Tehran, so it’s not like they’re going to have a direct conventional war anytime soon. The biggest threat of annihilation (admittedly somewhat remote still) that Israel faces would be from a hypothetical Iranian nuke or two. Israel’s biggest pain point today is probably that Iran supplies Hezbollah with advanced missiles and rockets, which are regularly used to terrorize and maim / kill Israeli civilians (I’m not sure who supplies the Gaza Strip goons with their non-home-made weapons). That’s why they claimed they were attacking Assad’s forces on the few instances that they have so far: to destroy advanced weaponry that was being transferred to Hezbollah.

What strategy is that, and whose?

If that’s Israel’s position then it’s like a blessing from Allah that Assad should stay.

I doubt the Islamic rebels feel the same way …

Based on his past statements claiming that Mossad was behind 911 and the vastly more credible claims that Hamas was initially supported by the Israelis as a counter to Fatah, I suspect he’s arguing that Al Quaeda was invented the Jews/the Israelis/the Zionists/or some other dog whistle.

Why? Are the Israelis always wrong? I’m always ready to beat the “Fuck Israel!” drum just because I sympathize with the plight of their Palestinian cousins, but I wouldn’t go that far.

I wonder if the Palestinians use that description for the Israelis …

because of their popularity in Syria.

Heh. Unless there’s a westerner nearby they don’t even refer to “the Israelis” but “the Jews” which isn’t even meant as a pejorative but just how they honestly see their enemy.

Beyond that, had BG ever uttered that claim in the West Bank, unless he was surrounded by armed guards or reporters he’d probably have been murdered by people for daring to suggest they were related to the descendants of apes and pigs.

Yup, well then it’s clear that we should throw our full support behind Assad - can’t let those Zionists get their way, after all…

:confused: Israelis are popular in Syria?!

The Palestinians might or might not, and the Israelis might or might not, but it is the truth. Of course, there are no quarrels worse than family quarrels.

I think he was being tongue in cheek. He’s saying that nothing will raise Assad’s popularity in Syria more than the Israelis saying he should leave.

– Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

– Anonymous

I’ll have to play this scenario out in my Middle East Political Simulator.