August 25, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1264

Syrian Government Press Threatens War in the Golan: ‘Those Who... Call for Peace Must Always Support the Resistance’

August 25, 2006
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 1264

In an August 15, 2006 speech, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad repeatedly emphasized that resistance is the way to peace, and that Syria would liberate the Golan "by [its] own hands." In the days following the speech, the Syrian media published articles in a similar vein.

The following are excerpts:

Assad: "Resistance and Peace Constitute One Axis, Not Two"

Reiterating arguments made by President Assad, the Syrian government paper Al-Thawra stated in an editorial that anyone who supports peace must support the resistance as well, since resistance is the way to achieve peace: "Syria does not believe in the slogan 'resistance for the sake of resistance,' but in the practical and realistic principle of 'resistance for the sake of peace,' because resistance, among its other results, helps to create a climate that is conducive to achieving a just peace.

"So those who support peace and call for peace must always support the resistance, since slogans and initiatives of peace without resistance generate [nothing but] arrogance and haughtiness on the part of Israel, which has disdained such initiatives [in the past]. Every time the Arabs made a step towards peace, the Israelis took [several] steps towards war...

"Syria never abandoned [the option of] peace, just as it has [never] laid down its weapons... The Arabs made many peace initiatives, [but] these initiatives always met with a negative response on Israel's part, to the point where every Arab peace initiative was rewarded with an Israeli massacre against the Arabs. Israel [thus] showed that it was not interested in peace. [Its] governments did not believe in the obligation of returning occupied territories to their owners, and [they] received full support and [extensive] assistance from the U.S...

"Syria has always believed in peace. It was the Israeli side that foiled [every] attempt to make progress... Israel must learn from the [outcomes] of its recent aggression against Lebanon, and understand that its military strength, great though it may be, will not lead [it] towards peace and does not reflect a desire for peace...

"In any case, the victory of the Lebanese resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] and the victory of the resistance in Palestine and Iraq will cause the way of the resistance to spread. Past experience has shown [us] that [an approach which] regards resistance as an unfeasible option [only] harms the peace [process]. The moral of the present [war] is that victory of the resistance is the way towards peace. Did not [our] President Bashar Al-Assad say that 'resistance and peace are one axis, [not two]'?" [1]

Mufti of Damascus: "The Arab Nation and Islam... Will Not Rest... Until the Golan is Restored to Syria"

Mufti of Damascus Sheikh Bashir 'Abd Al-Bari spoke in a similar vein at a ceremony marking the Al-Israa Wa Al-Mi'raj (Muhammad's night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven): "This year, the anniversary [of Muhammad's night-journey] occurs while our nation is engaged in a bitter struggle and holy jihad against the enemies of Allah and humanity - the traitorous and despicable Zionists who are occupying the Holy Land and the Al-Aqsa Mosque...

"The Lebanese resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] and its leader Hassan Nasrallah have taught the Zionist enemy a bitter lesson that it will never forget. They have proved that the nation of Arabism and Islam has sworn to [its members] that it will never rest until the rights are restored, until Palestine and holy Jerusalem are restored to [the Muslims], until South Lebanon is restored to its owners, and until the Golan, which is waiting with determination and patience, once more becomes a part of the homeland, Syria - no matter how long this takes." [2]

Syrian Government Daily: 'We Will Fight [Israel] as the Lebanese Resistance Fought [It]"

An article in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra threatened that Syria will not allow Israel to occupy the Golan forever, and that the Syrian people will fight Israel in every part of the Golan:

"This time, Israel's considerations were mistaken, since it is unaccustomed to confronting the Arab resistance fighters face to face. [In the past], its military power allowed it to hunt [the fighters] from a distance, but now things have changed. The oppression, murder and destruction [perpetrated by Israel], and its lack of regard for the position of the other side, have prompted the resistance fighters to confront death... and to fight, without any fear of death, for their rights, their homeland, and for a cause they believe in and are [willing to] die for. Consequently, they [succeeded in] scaring the enemy and defeating him, and presented him with a reality that he never imagined he would have to confront...

"[Israel's] pretext for [starting] the war was [its desire to] liberate the two prisoners, [but its real goal] was to implement [U.N.] resolution 1559 by force. But the heroic resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] broke [the enemy's] might, rubbed the [noses] of its best fighters in the dirt of South Lebanon, and turned the mightiest tanks in the world into coffins for the [Israeli] soldiers.

"The outcomes of this aggression will have far-reaching political and military repercussions for this [Israel], which will be even more severe than its humiliating military defeat. What the enemy encountered today in South Lebanon, it will encounter tomorrow on the Golan front.

"We Syrians say to the occupiers...: 'We will not allow you to occupy our land, to deport its people and to enjoy its riches forever. You must realize that our people will fight you just as the Lebanese resistance fought you in Maroun Al-Ras, Bint Jbeil, Ita Al-Sha'b, and other places. Our Syrian people will fight you in Jabal Al-Sheikh, Mas'ada, Majdal Shams, Ein Qinya, Banyas, Za'ura, Al-Nukheila, Waset, Al-Qal'a, Qna'aba, Tel-Sha'ban, Kafer Tufah, Al-Darbashiya, Hafar, Al-Jumruk, Tiberias, Al-Hamma and in all [other] places in the Golan - on every plateau, on every hill, and in every valley.

"Some of the wise intellectuals in Israel have already realized this truth. It seems that the blows [dealt to Israel] by the resistance, Israel's experience in South Lebanon, and the terrible military, political and psychological blows that the Zionist entity received as a result of its attack on Lebanon have caused some of the intelligent people in [Israel] to wake up.

"I attentively read what [the Israeli columnist] Gideon Levy recently wrote in [the Israeli daily] Ha'aretz: 'Had Israel returned the Golan at the suitable time, and had it signed a peace agreement with Syria, this war would not have broken out. Peace with Syria would have guaranteed peace with Lebanon.' Levy added: 'The claim made by some Israelis, who say "why should we return the Golan when Syria is sitting quietly" is a stupid one. This approach is harmful and silly... The insupportable notion that [Israel] can hold on to the Golan forever without paying the price of occupation may [one day] blow up in our faces in all its enormity...

"Levy believes that Israel must [offer] the Golan in return for peace, and that this [move] will serve Israel better than a thousand acts of war, no matter how daring. But [returning the Golan] takes more courage than starting a war.'...

"Having [read Gideon Levy's] ideas - though I disagree with some of the details - I see them as the awakening voice of reason. My question now is whether this voice can reach the ears of the decision makers in the Zionist entity. Is it possible that they might open their minds to new ideas? Will they understand that the [Arab] rights will have to be restored sooner or later, whether they like it or not?

"The choice is now in the hands of the leaders of the oppressive entity... Will they listen to the ideas that have begun to be heard [in their country] and to the voice of reason which forbids them to usurp the rights of others? Or will they be forced to hear this voice by means of resistance, as in Lebanon and Palestine?" [3]

Syrian Government Daily Harshly Criticizes Arab Leaders

An article in the Syrian government daily Teshreen harshly criticized the Arab leaders as well as forces in Lebanon which "from the very beginning of the war, expressed their hatred towards the resistance, relinquished [the option of resistance] and referred to it as 'uncalculated adventurism'". The article said: "[Had we taken] this way... the [Arab] nation would have remained meek and humiliated, obeying its masters in the U.S., in the West and in Israel." The writer added that the Arab leaders are like "chicks gathering around their ugly mother... as though they have forgotten that the U.S. despises its agents and gets rid of them once they have outlived their usefulness..." [4]

[1] Al-Thawra (Syria), August 22, 2006.

[2] Teshreen (Syria), August 21, 2006.

[3] Al-Thawra (Syria), August 16, 2006.

[4] Teshreen (Syria), August 21, 2006.

Share this Report:

Help Fight Extremism - Support MEMRI

MEMRI is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible and kept strictly confidential.