FLASHBACK- ZIONIST PROFESSOR: A New Syrian Regime Might Be Better for Israel
The weaker Syria is, the stronger Lebanon will be. Any regime change in Syria could be a blow to Hizbullah, even though Hizbullah does represent many of the Shiites. It is a deeply rooted, authentic Lebanese Shiite power center. However, it was the help of Syria and Iran that turned Hizbullah into a regional power. Taking Syria out of the equation could reduce Hizbullah to a more reasonable size – to become a strong Lebanese party but not more than that.
Syria supported the Shiites in Lebanon, but at the same time gave some backing to the Sunnis because the logic behind Syrian intervention in Lebanon has always been: divide and rule. [[[[[[A Sunni regime in Syria might change the balance in Lebanon in favor of the Sunnis.
A new regime in Syria could mean a return to the 1950s and 1960s when there was a weak, decentralized Syrian government with strong regions. Each region has its own ethnic and communal characteristics, and there may be a coup d’état from time to time and a lack of stability]]]]]]. The Syrian opposition will eventually take over and, as in the case of Egypt, they know that their interests lie with friendship with Western countries like the United States, and not with Iran. So in the long run, a new Syrian regime might be better for Israel than this current regime.
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Prof. Eyal Zisser is the former Head of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History and of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, both at Tel Aviv University This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on his presentation at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on June 16, 2011.
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