Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Levant Seen Splitting Along Ethnic, Religious Lines

A must-read WJC analysis agrees with Foreign Confidential™: Syria could soon split into separate states--which could be a good thing. Click here for the article by Pinhas Inbari, and scroll down or click here to read the most recent Foreign Confidential™ essay on the Syrian crisis and the urgent need for a solution to it that will avoid catastrophic conflict. Foreign Confidential™ actually envisions a federation of autonomous Syrian provinces or mini-states.

Alone among Middle East observers, Foreign Confidential™ has also proposed political neutrality for a remodeled Syria--with a continued Russian presence in Tartus and and compensation to Russia for loss of another arms customer as the envisioned mini-states would have to be demilitarized.

A sidebar: the late founder and longtime president of the WJC, Nahum Goldmann, would probably have approved of such a scheme, given the potential that the unfolding civil/proxy war in Syria has for engulfing the Middle East in a horrific conflict. Goldmann, whom this reporter once had the privilege of interviewing for a national U.S. publication, has unfortunately become one of Israel's forgotten architects. He was a lifelong Zionist and a dedicated defender of the Jewish State. But his dovish foreign policy views and Diaspora base made him a marginal figure in Israeli politics. Not surprisingly, his novel proposal for a politically neutral--yet properly and always armed--Israel was dismissed by many of Israel's staunchest supporters as well intentioned and Utopian at best and dangerously heretical at worst.

Ironically, however, as Foreign Confidential™ (formerly China Confidential) reported in 2006, China's top Middle East expert was said to be showing interest in Goldmann's concept. Click here to read the archived article.

It would be most ironic if political neutrality coupled with international security guarantees turned out to be the way to peacefully resolve the Syrian crisis and pave the way for Russian and Chinese cooperation in dealing meaningfully with the Iranian nuclear/missile threat--meaning, ending it for once and all.

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