Daily Israel Report

Syria's Future Leaders: Israel Likely to Remain an Enemy

Some things are unlikely to change in Syria on the day after Assad's fall, such as an acceptance of Israel as part of the Middle East.
By David Lev
First Publish: 12/31/2011, 7:30 PM

Signs at abandoned military post in Golan
Signs at abandoned military post in Golan
Flash 90

Syria's opposition groups are getting ready for “the day after” the fall of the Assad regime, and are anticipating a new, democratic regime. But some things are unlikely to change; Syria's likely future leaders still consider Israel an enemy, and will continue to demand Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

The two largest opposition groups in the country, the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB), signed an agreement to establish a a transitional government that would guarantee the rights of all citizens, hold parliamentary elections, and draft a constitution that guarantees a "civilian pluralist parliamentary democratic system."

The agreement also rejects any foreign intervention in Syria, and calls for the “protection of civilians by all legitimate means in the framework of international laws.” The agreement also calls for ensuring fair treatment for the country's Kurdish population.

However, the agreement makes clear that Syria will remain an enemy of Israel even after the proposed changes. The deal calls for “liberating Syrian territory,” an apparent reference to the Golan Heights, which a “democratic” Syria would still demand that Israel withdraw from.

Israel liberated the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War after Syria attacked Israeli towns in the Galilee. Since 1948, Syria had incessantly shelled Israeli towns in northen Israel, forcing thousands to take cover nightly in bomb shelters.

The agreement was signed Friday night in Cairo by Burhan Ghalioun, leader of the Council, and Haytham Manna, head of the NCB.