Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Expert: Golan Will Become Crowded Terror Base

Hillel Fendel

Arab affairs expert Dr. Guy Bechor of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya estimates that a "Golan for peace" deal will net Israel, in the long run, anything but peace. Bechor, who authors a Hebrew-language newsblog on Israel and the Middle East, wrote an article for Ynetnews in which he predicts that no matter what Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad promises, he is likely to be toppled by radical Moslem forces - leaving northern Israel vulnerable to the terrorists on the plateau above.

Bechor predicts that an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan would be followed by a three-stage process:

Stage I
"About a million Syrian residents will be settled in the Golan immediately.... A presidential decree has already been issued [by Bashar Assad] announcing that any Syrian resident who moves to the Golan will receive a government allowance... This will enable [Assad] to realize his dream with no interruptions: establishing a 'resistance' against Israel in the Golan Heights. Officially, Assad will argue that he has no connection to the terror attacks that would be directed at the Galilee region and northern Israel from the Golan; yet in practice, Syrian intelligence officers will do as they please vis-a-vis northern Israel, [as] they already did in northern Lebanon."

Stage II
Bechor argues that despite the friendly relations between Lebanon and Syria, Syria supports subversive activity against the Lebanese government: "Why wouldn’t the Syrians do the same in the Golan? Would a peace deal with Israel stop them? With Lebanon they have not only peace, but even an official relationship of fraternity and friendship."

Stage III
"Assad’s minority Alawite regime will be toppled," for the "peace deal will in fact serve to precipitate his downfall (and for that reason, Bashar won’t be pursuing real peace with Israel.) His regime has no legitimacy in Syria as it is, particularly when it comes to the Muslim Brothers, whose power keeps growing."

Once this happens, "the Golan Heights will turn into the radical spearhead against Israel, and not only from Syria: People will be coming from Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Terrorism will be two-pronged both from the Golan and from Lebanon. Life in the north will turn into an unbearable nightmare, yet the situation will be irreversible..."

Bechor concludes that Israel's agreements in the past and future with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are either reversible or did not cost much. "But with Syria, the situation will be different: From being an empty buffer zone, the Golan Heights will turn into a crowded anti-Israel region for generations to come. From being a strategic asset to Israel, the Golan will turn into a burden on top of the other regional efforts to eliminate Israel. Our future generations will not forgive anyone who would do that."

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