Israel has two choices regarding the ongoing civil war in Syria: bad and worse, said former IDF general Uzi Dayan, speaking to Arutz Sheva.
The Assad regime is anti-Israel, but several of the groups fighting him are affiliated with Al-Qaeda. “Obviously we shouldn’t support Assad’s ouster, because a weak plague is better than a terror virus that is growing stronger,” he said.
Israel must prepare for any scenario, and prevent unconventional weapons from reaching terrorist groups, he said.
“We need to say the ‘Hagomel’ blessing every day for not being talked into the agreement with Syria with Erdogan’s mediation,” Dayan added. Hagomel is the blessing recited after an escape from danger.
Israel should prepare itself in multiple ways, he said: by strengthening its defenses on the northern border, improving IDF preparedness for a counter-terror operation, strengthening Israeli settlement in the Golan and improving relations with Druze residents of the Golan.
Unlike most Druze living elsewhere in Israel, many Druze residents of the Golan have never accepted Israeli citizenship, and some have maintained loyalty to Syria. However, Golan Druze have increasingly turned against the Syrian government as fighting continues.
According to Dayan, Druze in the Golan are no longer afraid of going against the Assad regime, but many may fear for the safety of relatives on the other side of the border. Israel should reach out to the community, he said, and to those loyal to Israel in particular.
Dayan called to support another community as well – the large Kurdish community in Syria. Israel should support the Kurdish minority’s hopes for a state of its own, he said. The Kurdish community is the largest nationality on earth with no state of its own, and any Kurds have good ties with Israel, he noted.