January 19, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 646

Syrian Writers Union Chairman: Syria Hosts Noble Fighters, Not Terrorists

January 19, 2004
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 646

Syrian and Arab Writers Union's Chairman Dr. Ali 'Ukla 'Ursan gave an interview to the Israeli Arabic weekly Kul Al-Arab in which he attacked the Arab regimes, Israel, and the U.S. The following are excerpts from the interview: [1]

'The Arabs are Helpless and Many of Their Regimes are Being Dragged After the U.S.'

Question : "What is your response to the all-out war being waged against Syria at this time?"

'Ursan: "The Zionist entity, the ally of the American administration of President Bush and of the previous administrations, is currently waging a resolute campaign against Syria. This campaign increased with the Syria Accountability Act. This act is aimed at making Syria relinquish its rights and its positions, and demanding that it treat the legitimate Palestinian resistance and the resistance in Lebanon as terrorism.

"Syria will not take such stands, because resistance to occupation is legitimate…"

Question : "The U.S. is accusing Syria of arming Iraq, and is hinting that it will invade Syria. What is your response?"

'Ursan : "It is not inconceivable that the U.S. will carry out another stupid deed. The American accusations that were disproved in Iraq are being revived in a different form [against Syria]. This administration has lost its credibility, and it is led by the extremist Zionist right that controls decision [making]. [The American administration] now wants, in advance of the elections, to bring out a new problem to the American street, and also to rob others.

"Iraq didn't need arms from Syria, and [in any event] Syria had no arms to give Iraq, [and Iraq] was under various forms of siege. This pretext, like the pretext of weapons of mass destruction, has been disproved. Nevertheless, Bush and Blair continue with such lies."

Question : "What should be done in the face of the American danger and in order to prevent [American] hegemony over the entire Arab world?"

'Ursan : "What is necessary is minimal solidarity and a clear, declared and honest Arab stance, not [one] stance 'above the table' and another 'under the table.' But I don't expect this to happen, since it is clear that the Arabs are helpless and that many Arab regimes are being dragged after the U.S.

"We … must unite into a single [Arab] bloc that will impose its interests and its presence… After what happened in Iraq, the U.S. is likely to reevaluate [its policy] if it encounters united Arab strength and an international voice to deter it from evil deeds.

"[The U.S.] is the center of evil, and in practice I expect nothing from the Arab countries but communiqués, statements, protests, and the like…"

'American-Zionist Racism Threatens The World'

Question : "This week, an Israeli general stated that [Israel] could reach Damascus as rapidly as the U.S. reached Baghdad. How do you see this statement?"

'Ursan : "… These threats are cheap, racist, and aggressive talk. We say clearly that we have no strategic balance with the U.S. and with the Zionist entity, but we can defend ourselves in a way that will make the Zionist entity think twice. [This talk] is based on joint American-Zionist racism that threatens the world, disseminates evil, and contradicts international law, morality, and international legitimacy.

"This [Israeli] general and his government should be ashamed, because of their persecution of the children of Palestine and because of their ongoing occupation and terrorism… Their morality is the morality of arms, and it is free of all ethics, as has been proven in the past 50 years."

Question : "Do you fear an Israeli attack on Syria following declarations by Israeli military elements?"

'Ursan : "Anything is possible, because Sharon has no political vision and understands nothing but aggression and military affairs. He can carry out stupid acts with American political-media backing. When we hear President Bush receive him as if he were a man of peace, while [in fact] he is a terrorist, a murderer, and a criminal, I expect [Bush] to protect [Sharon] when he attacks, as has happened many times – for example, with the aggression at Ein Al-Saheb." [2]

Question : "There are reports that a delegation from the Likud will visit Syria and give a message from Sharon to President Al-Assad. What is your response?"

'Ursan : "This is libel . Syria cannot host a delegation from the Likud or any [delegation] whatsoever from the Zionist entity…"

'Syria Hosts Noble Fighters, Not Terrorists'

Question: "An Israeli minister said that the Syrian president is giving Nazis and Palestinian terrorists political asylum in his country. What is your response?"

'Ursan: "The Palestinians are persecuted by the new racism represented by the Zionist entity. The Palestinians are not Nazis. The terrorist and racist is Sharon. Whoever supports him, whoever kills children and civilians, whoever destroys buildings over the heads of their residents, whoever uprooted the Rafiah and Jenin camps – are the terrorists.

"The Nazi is the one who carried out the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, the Qibya [massacre], and [other] massacres. Calling the Palestinians 'terrorists' is contempt for morality, laws, and [international] conventions. Syria hosts noble fighters, not terrorists."

Question : "If Syria is pressured to remove the Palestinian organizations from its territory and not to support Hizbullah, what will be its response?"

'Ursan :"[There has been] such pressure since the early 1980s. Syria cannot see the legitimate Palestinian resistance to the occupation or any [other] resistance against occupation as terror. The Palestinian resistance has information offices in Syria. Its activity, its organization, its efforts, and its operations are planned from within [Palestine], led from within [Palestine], and carried out from within [Palestine].

"The attempt by the Zionist entity or America to export the Iraqi crisis is well known, and Syria will not submit to this kind of extortion."

Question : "Israel revealed its plan to increase settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. What is your response?"

'Ursan : "This is [an attempt to] pressure Syria … to make Syria agree to negotiations in accordance with the Zionist formula. Syria knows that the occupying enemy can do anything it pleases, but according to the international decisions and according to the Syrian will, the Golan is occupied Syrian land. It will return [to Syria], and not a single Jew will remain in it."

[1] Kul Al-Arab (Israel), January 2, 2004.

[2] A reference to the Israeli bombing of the Islamic Jihad training camp at Ein Al-Sahab near Damascus, on October 4, 2003.

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