Former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, Yitzhak Levanon, said that Assad’s embrace in the Arab world and the region is an Israeli interest. He called on the Israeli government not to miss the opportunity and support policies to normalize Assad in the Arab world.
The Israeli diplomat’s statements came in response to recent reports that the Bennett government abandoned his predecessor Netanyahu’s plan to embrace Assad in exchange for the expulsion of Iran
In an op-ed published in the newspaper Israel Hayom on Wednesday, Levanon said that Israel’s rejection of the initiative to embrace Assad in the Arab world and return to the Arab lap in exchange for expelling Iranians from his country was a mistake and a waste of opportunity.
The Israeli diplomat stressed that Israel was required to be politically bold in this issue and to seize the opportunity and achieve another political achievement in the Middle East.
He described Assad’s embrace as an opportunity that was not possible for many years, explaining that it is not a condition that Tel Aviv leads this step, but rather revives it and inspires it.
It is in Israel’s interest to have Syria stable, free of foreign powers, and under the influence of the Arab League and the Sunni world.
The Israeli diplomat said that rejecting this opportunity on the grounds that Assad is unable to get the Iranians out of Syria is based on an outdated old reading. He noted that conditions are constantly changing and renewing.
“There have been surprises in the Middle East in the past,” Levanon said. He added that no one expected Egypt to expel its Soviet advisers in the 1970s, but Sadat did so, as did Assad’s withdrawal from Lebanon.
The Israeli diplomat said that the stability of Syria contributes significantly to the stability of the Middle East. However, we have to make no mistake, Assad is a war criminal and his crimes against his people are unforgivable. As long as the new reality (his embrace initiative) will lead to a radical change in Syria, and therefore in the Middle East as well, Assad can be brought to justice in the future when Syria stabilizes.
Iran is a burden on Syria, and Assad is well aware that neither Iran nor China nor Russia can rebuild a devastated Syria, while only the West can.
According to Levanon, Assad will not be able to resist new alliances in the region and says Assad sees a Sunni front forming against Iran and understands that he will not be able to stand against it for long.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.