Israel may shelter Assad’s people 3

How can it benefit Israel to give Alawites asylum when the Assad government falls?

Apparently the Israeli government is preparing to do so.

Will a victorious Sunni majority in Syria hunt down the Alawites in revenge for the dictatorial Assad rule? Some Israelis seem to think so.

But why does Israel want to protect them? And would its hospitality extend to the vicious mass-murderer Bashar Assad himself? No, he would surely not flee to Israel. The very idea boggles the imagination.

How would Israel cope with thousands of hostile Alawites within its borders, even if only for a few months or years?

This is from the Cyprus Mail:

Israel is making preparations to house refugees from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s minority Alawite sect should his government fall, Israel’s military chief told a parliamentary committee today.

“On the day that the regime falls, it is expected to result in a blow to the Alawite sect. We are preparing to take in Alawite refugees on the Golan Heights,” a committee spokesman quoted Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz as saying.

Assad has faced 10 months of popular revolt in which more than 5,000 people have been killed, according to United Nations figures. Israeli officials have said they do not expect his government to last more than a few months.

In a speech today, Assad again blamed the unrest on a foreign conspiracy against Syria.

His “foreign conspiracy” accusation includes Israel, of course. Israel and the US.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said last week that Assad “is weakening” and will fall this year.

“In my opinion … he won’t see the end of the year. I don’t think he will even see the middle of this year. It doesn’t matter if it will take six weeks or 12 weeks, he will be toppled and disappear,” Barak said.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel rarely censured the Assad government for its domestic crackdowns and has said little about the crisis that erupted last March. …

But in May last year, Israel accused Syria of orchestrating deadly confrontations on the ceasefire line between the two countries as a distraction from Assad’s bloody crackdown. …  Israeli sources note that Assad has not tried since then to turn the Golan into a “second front” in a bid to externalize his crisis.

Although Israel and Syria are technically at war, and Syria is home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war of Israel’s foundation, the Golan Heights had long been quiet. …

Barak said Syrian weapons could be transferred to the militant Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, “something we view with great gravity. Syria is believed to possess chemical weapons.”

Assad, who is a willing cat’s paw for Iran, would transfer them to Hezbollah and probably has done so. It’s far less likely that a Sunni government in Syria would arm a militant Shia organization.

The elements of the story don’t add up. It is not Jewish lore, law, or pose to forgive enemies, and in this instance it would obviously be a very short-sighted, unjust, and dangerous thing to do.