Israel Inciting Genocide Against Alawites as Prelude to Creation
of Kosovo-style Enclave in Syria?
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
July 12, 2012
Clearing House" --
Within the past week, fellows at the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies have used rather unfortunate analogies to describe
the plight of Syria’s besieged Alawite minority. The comparison
of the Alawites to two of the region’s least popular interlopers
in Arab and Muslim memory was hardly calculated to endear them
to an already resentful Sunni majority.
the neoconservative flagship
Weekly Standard on July 6, Tony Badran claimed:
al-Assad’s campaign against his Sunni adversaries recalls
the strategy employed by the Crusaders, as invading European
armies fortified themselves against various Muslim
coalitions in the Levant, from the 12th to the 13th century.
Indeed, the Crusader castles dotting the Western part of
Syria may give us some sort of insight into the regime’s
military thinking, and perhaps a preview of its future.
later, Jonathan Kay wrote an oddly sympathetic piece in Canada’s
small, marginalized people, kicked around the Middle East
for centuries by Muslim empires, finally carves out an
independent home for itself on the eastern shores of the
Mediterranean. But life remains precarious: Islamists seek
to delegitimize the newly established homeland, declaiming
the ruling sect as a gang of infidel occupiers. Now, the
simmering hatred of the occupied people finally has
transformed into an unstoppable political and military
intifada — cheered on by Western human-rights advocates.
country I have just described is Syria. For all the
pathological hatred that President Bashar Assad and his
father Hafez have focused on Israel, the histories of the
two countries betray some striking similarities. And those
similarities help explain why the Assad clan and its
hangers-on refuse to be dislodged from Damascus.
Israel’s Jews, members of the Alawi sect in Syria regard
their control of the nation as an existential issue. There
is only one Alawi state, just as there is only one Jewish
state, and its destruction would mean the end of the Alawis
as a political entity on the world stage — probably forever.
With the passage of generations, it might even mean their
gradual assimilation into other nations, as with
Zoroastrians, Samaritans and a hundred other now-obscure
Middle Eastern peoples.
It may be
just a coincidence that in the space of a few days two fellows
from the same pro-Israel think tank that has been
in the forefront of calls for regime change in Damascus
compared the ruling Alawites to Crusaders and Israeli Jews.
Israel’s record of fomenting strife in the region along
ethnic and religious lines, the possibility that these articles
are part of a deliberate campaign of incitement should not be
past year, there have been a number of intriguing references in
the Israeli press to the Jewish state’s purported concern for
the plight of the Alawites. In an August 3, 2011 op-ed in the
Jerusalem Post, John Myhill wrote:
some point, as the civil war in Syria develops, the Alawites
will have no choice but to retreat to their mountain
stronghold in the northwest and appeal for military
assistance to protect them and help them establish their own
state there (as they unsuccessfully petitioned the French in
the interwar period).
personal contact with Alawites, I know that they are already
beginning to discuss the possibility of appealing to Israel
for help. If they do – and they probably will at some point
– and the international community does not help them, Israel
should step in to aid the Alawites, which would also mean
helping their Shi’ite allies, who will by that point be
to Myhill, this humanitarian act would also have strategic
benefits for Tel Aviv:
result would be the formation of a bloc of states in the
western Levant which would share the common interest of
avoiding Sunni domination. For the first time, Israel would
have actual state allies in the region, as opposed to
temporary peace treaties.
early January this year,
Haaretz reported the same humanitarian impulse from an even
more unlikely source:
Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Tuesday that
Israel is preparing to absorb Alawite refugees once Syrian
President Bashar Assad’s regime collapses, which he expects
to happen in the coming months.
the IDF’s improbable humanitarianism, the Beirut-based political
Ghassan Dahhan observed:
assume that Israel’s analysis is correct in which Assad
would fall after which a civil war erupts in Syria between
Sunnis and Alawites. Given the sectarian composition of
Syrian society the Alawites would find themselves at the end
of the gun barrel, and an exodus could take place in similar
vein with the Christians of Iraq after the fall of Saddam
Hussein in 2003. Looking for safe refuge, many Alawites
might feel forced to accept Israel’s offer to be resettled
in the Golan and subsequently seek its protection from the
Syrian Sunni majority.
current population of the Golan currently stands at less
than a hundred thousand, consisting mostly of Druze. Even a
minor flow of Alawite refugees to the Golan would thus have
significant demographic consequences for the configuration
of the territory’s society. The Israeli occupied Golan would
in effect be turned into de-facto Alawite enclave. For
Israel to grant Alawite refugees legal status would be
unacceptable to most Israelis, especially if the size of
refugees is tangible.
option that would render Israel the best position is to
encourage the creation of a Kosovo-style Alawite state.
reference to Kosovo brings to mind an article in
the Atlantic from almost two decades ago, in which Robert D.
Kaplan predicted the inevitable Balkanization of Syria:
will not remain the same. It could become bigger or smaller,
but the chance that any territorial solution will prove
truly workable is slim indeed. Some Middle East specialists
mutter about the possibility that a future Alawite state
will be carved out of Syria. Based in mountainous Latakia,
it would be a refuge for Alawites after Assad passes from
the scene and Muslim fundamentalists—Sunnis, that is—take
over the government. This state would be supported not only
by Lebanese Maronites but also by the Israeli Secret
Service, which would see no contradiction in aiding former
members of Assad’s regime against a Sunni Arab government in
be that Tel Aviv and its American lobby are slyly inciting
genocide against the Alawites as a prelude to the creation of an
Israel-dependent Kosovo-style enclave somewhere in Syria? This
would certainly be in keeping with the
strategy for the Middle East outlined in the early 1980s by
Oded Yinon, as summarized by Khalil Nakhleh:
plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel
must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must
effect the division of the whole area into small states by
the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will
depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state.
Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based
states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its
source of moral legitimation.
Ó Cathail writes
extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. -
This article was originally published at
The Passionate Attachment
See also -
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amid widening concerns that Israel could go to war to try to
stop this 'Doomsday threat'.