- HASSAN MASIKY
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Washington / Morocco News Board -- When Morocco joined the United Nations Security Council, Moroccans were hoping to see their country make a strong diplomatic comeback on the international scene. Besides cheering for the French intervention in Mali, Morocco’s delegation to the United Nations has been MIA -missing in action.
As an Amazigh-Arab-Majority-Muslim nation harboring special relationships with Israel, Moroccan diplomats in New York should have been leading the efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis. As Iran relentless ploys to expand its Shiite agenda expand and flourish in the Middle East, Moroccan and Saudi meek responses are falling way short.
With the humanitarian situation worsening by the day and the outlook for a political resolution bleak, it may be time for Sunnis to accept the reality of the “Israeli factor” on the current military stalemate in Syria. The Moroccan diplomacy that played key roles in past Israeli-Arab rapprochements should reactivate its efforts to bring Syrian opposition leaders and key Sunni leaders to the table of negotiations with Israeli military officers. As long as Iran and its cronies in Syria and Lebanon keep arming and supporting the Assad regime , the killing of Syrian children will continue unless the Sunni establishments offer the United States security guarantees for Israel, leading to an active American support of the Syrian opposition.
Syria is ground zero for Iran’s hegemonic agenda in the Middle East. It is time for Sunnis to call Syria’s civil for what it is: A Sunni-Shiite face-off. Further more, Sunnis, liberals and conservatives must admit and act on the reality that Israel is the key to a win in Syria.
After loosing Iraq to Iran’s Mullahs, Sunnis can’t afford a defeat in Syria. Losing in Damascus would, eventually, lead to Sunni losses in Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and eventually Kuwait. If Iran manages to keep Assad in power despite Sunni opposition, Shiites in Arab Gulf countries and Lebanon will be further emboldened and hard to contain.
Morocco is in a unique position to design, rationalize and advocate for a Sunni-Israeli memorandum of understanding that would guarantee Israeli security, especially in the occupied Golan. For many Israelis, the Assad clan is the devil they know, while Sunni Islamist armed groups that keep advancing in Syria are unfamiliar and hard to categorize.
The Obama administration has refused, thus far, to arm the Syrian Free Army for fear of boosting military capabilities of Al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria. In fact, Washington is waiting on Israel’s “green light” before assisting armed opposition groups in Syria. In turn, Tel Aviv is, for now, uncomfortable with the make-up of the most victorious Syrian armed groups.
Sunnis, namely Saudis and Qataris, should realize that open and honest discussions with Israel over the Golan heights and the nature of relations between a post-Assad Syria and the Hebrew state are zero sum games. The growing number of Al-Qaeda fighters joining Jabhat al-Nusra on the opposition side and the explicit involvement of Iran’s revolution guards and Hezbollah fighters on Assad’s side, may complicate efforts for a quick military resolution to the Syrian bloodshed. Thus, time is of essence at this conjuncture in the conflict.