web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Syrian Homework for Hillary

Druze from the Golan Heights gather in the village of Majdel Sham requesting that the area to revert to being under the authority of the Syrian government

Share Button

Speaking at the UN last week US Secretary of State Clinton declared, “It is time for the international community to . . . send a clear message of support to the people of Syria.” And after the failed Security Council vote vetoed by Russia and China, she reiterated that the world must “support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.”

Mrs. Clinton speaks of the “Syrian people” as if it was a homogeneous national group. Her ignorance was further demonstrated when speaking to reporters on Sunday. “The international community has a duty to halt continuing bloodshed,” she said, “and promote a political transition that would see Mr. Assad step down.” Can she really believe Bashar al-Assad will simply agree to resign?

If one is to develop a coherent and attainable goal-oriented Syrian policy, one must first understand the various groupings and allegiances at play.

The “Syrian people” is a composite of religious and ethnic groups who have been historically opposed to one another. Sunni Muslims comprise two thirds of the population; 12% are Alawites; 9% are Kurds; 10% are various Christian sects; and the remaining groups include Druze, Turkmens and Circassians.

The Sunni majority includes the Muslim Brotherhood. The Sunni elite lost power to the Alawite dominated secular nationalist Syrian Ba’ath Party in a 1963 coup. This led to violent unrest which the Muslim Brotherhood later developed into open revolt.

In 1980, after a failed assassination attempt against President Hafez al-Assad, he came down on them hard. In 1982, the city of Hama, a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, was destroyed by regular Syrian army forces, including tanks and artillery, killing an estimated 20,000 people. The revolt was quelled and the Alawite al-Assad family continued to rule.

But the dispute is far older. The Sunni majority view the Alawite minority as heretics. The Alawites, or Alawi as they called themselves because of their adherence to Ali (Mohammad’s cousin and son-in-law), were originally called by the Sunnis the “Nusayri” after the Shi’ite Ibn Nusayr in the 9th century, indicating their break with Islam. After 1920 and the onset of French rule in Syria, the persecuted Alawites ingratiated themselves to the new rulers.

The French encouraged the Alawites to join the French-commanded Syrian army and dominate the officer corps as a counterweight to the hostile Sunni majority. This set the stage for the Alawite dominance of the Ba’ath Party and the 1963 takeover of the Syrian government.

The Kurds comprise the majority of the Jazira province, and are affiliated with major Kurdish populations in neighboring Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Historically, the Kurds once ruled their own land, known as Kurdistan, which included eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northwestern Iran and northern Syria. Today, the Kurds are persecuted by the current ruling regimes in their respective countries.

It would behoove Mrs. Clinton and other world leaders to acknowledge the mosaic that is the “Syrian people”, so that the tumult that the country is facing now can be avoided in the future

Share Button

About the Author: The author is a veteran journalist specializing in geo-political and geo-strategic affairs in the Middle East. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Insight Magazine, Nativ, The Jerusalem Post and Makor Rishon. His articles have been reprinted by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the US Congressional Record.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Syrian Homework for Hillary”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ukraine Shul Firebombed
Ukrainian Synagogue Firebombed (Video)
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Yedidya Atlas
former State Department advisor, NSC official and a special assistant to President Obama,

Dennis Ross, former State Department advisor, NSC official, and special assistant to President Obama, is the latest voice in the Obama administration’s campaign to convince an already skeptical public that Iran should not be attacked – by either the US or Israel. Their obsession with diplomacy plays right into Iran’s hands, as the Mullahs stretch out “negotiations” while crossing every one of the Obama administration’s “red lines”.

President Speaks to Crew on Space Station

Obama plays the delaying game while giving a false impression to his gullible supporters – especially liberal American Jews – that he is supposedly doing everything to stop Iran short of military attack.

The “Syrian people” is a composite of Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Kurds, Druze, Turkmens and Circassians.

The National Jewish Democratic Council website blasted Gingrich last week for opposition “to the values of the vast majority of American Jews,” when in fact Gingrich’s position are highly consistent with “Jewish values”.

Roger Cohen’s New York Times column was the latest in the Obama camp’s efforts to pressure Binyamin Netanyahu to risk Israel’s being nuked by a nuclear Iran rather than cause any ripples in President Obama campaign for re-election to a second term.

We too cannot be so capricious of nature, so weary of our national responsibility, as to give away what is, in truth, not ours alone to barter… We cannot be so selfish as to sacrifice a holy heritage for what is, at best, transitory expediency.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/syrian-homework-for-hillary/2012/02/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: