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February 28, 2012

The Syrian National Council's Israel connection!

February 28, 2012

February 28, 2012

There has been a lot of unconfirmed reports regarding the relations between the Syrian National Council and Israel. Some, if not the majority, borders hallucinations or paranoia. But What do we know about this connection so far?

1. Normalization: Certain Syrian National Council members sit on panels and participate in public talks with Israelis. The names known so far are Ammar Abdulhamid who gave an interview to an Israeli newspaper a few years ago; he declared that "he has no qualms about talking to Israelis". Bassma Kodmani, another SNC member, had participated on an Israeli authors' panel; this has sparked controversy.

2. Close to Zionist and Neoconservative Circles: For instance, Ammar Abdulhamid, a known SNC member, is a friend of the pro-Israel think tank, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (A friend of Likud), and the neocon American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The latter is also Zionist, and pursues Likud agendas.

But what does Ammar Abdul Hamid say to the WINEP and AEI? In the latter, he has a special friend: the neocon Michael Rubin. Rubin wrote several times on Ammar Abdulhamid, usually with generous citations. The one below, on seeking foreign intervention, caught my eye:

“The reality is that Arab liberals are currently fighting to retain the last foothold that liberal values still have in the Arab world. In this they have no choice but to cooperate with external forces, at the risk of being denounced as traitors or pawns of the West.... [They] have no choice but to seek external sources of funding and expertise to support their various activities.” (Abdulhamid speaking)

(Picture: Abdulhamid addressing a WINEP crowd with Martin Kramer, a former Tel Aviv university Professor, and director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East and Africa studies). Kramer and Rubin are both contributors to Daniel Pipes' Middle East Quarterly. Here is an article in which Abdulhamid is cited. In addition to his Israeli "academic" role, Kramer's remarks at the last Herzelya conference, in which he called for cuts in "pro-natal subsidies" to Palestinians in Gaza to reduce their population.

Osama Monajed, another Syrian National Council member, has participated in this AEI talk on Syria, chaired by hard line Zionist/Neocon Danielle Pletka. (Pletka has noted in a recent article that "The PLO was created in order to destroy the state of Israel and replace it with Palestine. The ’67 and ’73 wars were premised on that same dream. The Palestinians, and with them the dictators of the Arab world, believed in some magical solution grounded in falsehoods.")

Michael Rubin, Abdulhamid's friend, is of the same Zionist caliber. He said in an article last year that (the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza—part of historical Palestine—are not technically refugees since they never left their “country”).

(Photo: Monajed, b. 1980, who participated in the AEI talk on Syria)

PS. To read more on the SNC's Israel connections, check this article by Maidhc O' Cathail (Thank you Rowan).

Here is our full account of this connection in Arabic.


What's so wrong with talking to Israelis? You want to live in war forever?

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