Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Israel Well-Situated for Possible Assad Downfall

Arguably first to advocate Syrian regime change, a widely popular position now

Print Email
Syrians protest against President Assad last week outside an Arab League meeting in Cairo.(Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

The news isn’t that Israel, as Ambassador Michael Oren told the Christian Science Monitor yesterday, sees “a possible ouster of [President] Assad as affording an opportunity to us.” The news is that this is news. He said much the same thing to Tablet Magazine Mideast columnist Lee Smith last month. As early as June, he felt compelled to send a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal clarifying Israel’s feelings. Everybody assumed Israel preferred the strife-filled stability of the Assad regime to an unknown that could include an Islamist takeover. But, in arguably situating Israel as the first country (there are now many) to advocate regime change in Damascus, Oren insisted, “Allied with Iran, Assad has helped supply 55,000 rockets to Hezbollah and 10,000 to Hamas, very likely established a clandestine nuclear arms program and profoundly destabilized the region. The violence he has unleashed on his own people demonstrating for freedoms confirms Israel’s fears that the devil we know in Syria is worse than the devil we don’t.”

Relatively speaking, the past month has been fairly quiet on the Syrian front. Earlier this week, the heroic U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford—in her new book, by the way, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regrets pulling the Syrian ambassador in 2005—temporarily departed due to “credible threats” against him. Yesterday, a prominent opposition group requested international protection from an impending crackdown. Hezbollah recently insisted Assad has left the revolutionary “danger zone” behind. Compared to the past months, which have involved mass sieges of major cities and thousands of protesters killed in the streets, it seems pacific.

But a new poll finds that in Arab countries support for Assad versus the opposition groups ranges from 17 percent to 0 percent (ups to Jordan!), which is nothing short of incredible and inspiring. So, here’s another reason for Israel to root for Assad’s downfall: It will put it on the right side of the Arab Spring. And the dramatic death of Muammar Qaddafi is reportedly revivifying protests. “The focus of the world will now turn to Syria,” said the opposition Syrian National Council’s leader after the former Libyan dictator was executed. “It’s Syria’s turn to receive attention.”

Ouster of Syria’s Assad Would Be ‘Opportunity’ for Israel [CSM]
Poll: Arab Support for Assad at Historic Low [JPost]
Related: State of the Union [Tablet Magazine]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter which dictator is in charge in Syria. the regime is anti-Israel, but the people are even more so. It is a dream if you think it makes a difference (in a posititive sense) Who succeeds Assad, if anyone does, will not be better and may be worse
The idea that this so called “Arab Spring” will lead to democracy demonstrates a thought disorder or hallucinatory thinking on the part of observers. Wait and see what happens. Democracy is not an easy thing to establish and the Muslim countries have little or no basis for such roots.

andrew r says:

“Democracy is not an easy thing to establish”

Well said. I remain to be convinced democracy is present in the USA and Israel.

Gerald Blancett says:

I recommend that Israel, United States of America, and EU, focus on Iran;ASAP!

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Israel Well-Situated for Possible Assad Downfall

Arguably first to advocate Syrian regime change, a widely popular position now

More on Tablet:

Kerry Links Rise of ISIS With Failed Peace Talks

By Lee Smith — Secretary of State: ‘I see a lot of heads nodding’