Syrian Oppositionist Seeks Friendly Relations With Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -

A member of the Syrian opposition told The Jerusalem Post he hopes for friendly relations between Syria and Israel once the Assad regime has been removed.

The Syrian oppositionist, who took part in the early stages of the uprising in 2011 against the Syrian government, and uses the name Amin Muhammad for security reasons, now lives in Europe but travels frequently to the opposition-held areas of his country.

He says he hopes to form a new Syrian political party, which will stand for liberal democracy and the separation of religion and state.

He envisages a party open to all religions and ethnic groups there, including Christians, Druse, Kurds and Alawites. “We don’t want the dreams of pan-Arab nationalism or partition of the country,” he said.

Asked about future Syrian-Israel relations, he said that change cannot happen quickly, since people have been brought up to believe that Israelis are the enemy and are trying to kill Syrians, so Syrians must kill them. However, aiding injured Syrians in Israeli hospitals and various other humanitarian gestures were having a positive effect on popular attitudes.

“All this is making people wonder, when they see the killing from their own regime and see the Israeli community treating the wounded. I am talking to a lot of people, and they are thinking: Who is the enemy now?” he said.

“We want direct talks with Israel and to make a peace deal and normalize relations,” he said, though, noting a familiar condition:

“There cannot be peace without the Golan,” he declared.

Regarding Israel’s security concerns in a return of the Golan Heights, he responded that in life, there are never any guarantees.