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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
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Mordechai Kedar: An Open Letter to President Assad

Bashar Assad

Photo Credit: Matanya Tausig/Flash90

You returned to the natural tribal Arab nature that overcomes anything else that may have been acquired. That is how the saying, “Syria is not Tunisia and isn’t Egypt…” became a banner of return to his tribal Arab roots. These roots are the source of the sorrows of the Arabs. These principles are what push these human societies to the abyss whenever some members of this nation attempt to break free from it.

Yes, Mr. President. This primitive tribal fanaticism is what presents the greatest pitfall to a modern state. This fanaticism is what prevents the emergence of a people, in the full sense of the term.

Mr. President, it is so painful to tell you: this is the truth about you. Actually, this is the truth about all of us. And now, after all of these crimes carried out by the regime that you head, life in Syria will never return to the way it was in the past. It cannot be that the storms of emotion will be calmed as if nothing ever happened. Mr. President, the time has come for you to understand the bitter truth, and so you must pack your suitcases. You must let the people be.

The throats that your brutal “Shabikha” have slit, scream from under the earth: Yalla, Get out of here, O Bashar!

And if slogans have any power, our way may prove successful.

This concludes the article of Salman Masalha. Since these words were written, the situation in Syria has deteriorated, and the worse the situation of the regime, the more murderous it has become, and the more cruel it becomes, the more determined are the rebels.

Mutual deeds of slaughter in recent months have taken the lives of dozens and more every day among children, women and men whose only sin was that they belong to the wrong ethnic group: Muslims slaughter Alawites, and they – in revenge – slaughter Muslims. Scenes of horror appear in all the media, and even the nations of the world have begun to feel uncomfortable with these spectacles.

The pressure on Russia is increasing, and its leaders are beginning to talk about the “Syrian people” and their suffering, not because they have become supporters of the revolution or human rights, but rather because they fear the loss of all of their assets in Syria – ports on the Mediterranean Sea and many investments – if the rebellion ultimately succeeds. They are concerned that the next Syrian regime will throw them out in revenge for their support of Assad. But talk is one thing and deeds are another: The Russians have begun to transfer attack helicopters to the Syrian regime, those that can shoot rockets on the citizens, despite the fact that these rockets are intended mainly to destroy tanks. They still try to breathe life into the Syrian regime, despite  – and perhaps because – of the fact that the battles have now reached the suburbs of Damascus.

The latest development is that an air defense battalion has crossed over to the rebels’ side, and in response, the battalion was bombed from the air, and it’s not clear how much the air defense battalion can actually contribute to the rebellion. Nevertheless, this does signify a widening of the cracks in the walls of the military, because the plague of desertion is spreading, and senior officers are crossing over to the side of the rebels. The “Free Syrian Army” received anti-tank ammunition from Turkey and Libya via Lebanon, and the funding for it comes from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The leaders of the rebellion call to the Syrians living outside Syria, Arabs, and people of conscience to demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy, to stop it from supporting the regime. The United States protests to Russia about the supply of helicopters, but finds it difficult to contribute more than harsh words to the effort of the Syrian people to get rid of the butcher that rules them.

In this situation, where the world stands and passively watches how a mass murderer, son of a mass murderer, slaughters his people, Israel must come to three necessary conclusions:

A. If, God forbid, there is a situation where our neighbors will ever overcome us, there is no reason to assume that our enemies will relate to us any better than the way in which they relate to one another. If they only could, they would slaughter us and humiliate our women and our daughters at least in the same way in which they do to the men, women and Syrian daughters. The behavior of the tribes in Libya and in Yemen to each other, just as the way that the Egyptian military treats the demonstrators, shows us how they would behave toward us if they only could. Can anyone prove otherwise?

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


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