Gaddafi is gone but will As­sad be next?

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News -

of these weapons, Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence be­lieves, were also smug­gled to the ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tions in the Gaza Strip, though, as one an­a­lyst said this week, that area is so awash with weaponry that what­ever came from Libya prob­a­bly did not make much of a dif­fer­ence.”

In the 1970s and 1980s, Libya hosted some of the most ex­treme move­ments fight­ing against Israel and sup­plied them with funds and arms. But in re­cent years, Gaddafi has been much less in­volved in the Israel-Pales­tine is­sue, and had even pro­posed his own peace plan. While some fig­ures in the Libyan op­po­si­tion have ex­pressed a will­ing­ness to deal with Israel, and even ac­cept aid, there is lit­tle chance in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture of much con­tact be­tween the two coun­tries while a new gov­ern­ment forms in Tripoli and starts to re­build.

The more im­me­di­ate ef­fect of Gaddafi’s fall is the morale boost it will give to the op­po­si­tion in Syria. De­spite calls last week by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for As­sad to re­sign, and the fact that even some of the Arab na­tions have turned against him, As­sad’s stay­ing power is still un­clear. One veteran Is­raeli an­a­lyst said this week, “I give him two months, three at the most, he is fight­ing a los­ing bat­tle.” But an­other veteran Syria-watcher said, “The army is still largely with him and he has ma­jor back­ing from the Ira­ni­ans, it will still take some time for As­sad to fall.” The se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment in Israel is di­vided. Some be­lieve that As­sad is still a force for sta­bil­ity and that if he falls, Israel will have to con­tend with a civil war on its north­ern bor­der that may spill over. Oth­ers be­lieve As­sad’s de­par­ture will be a blow to the Ira­ni­anHizbul­lah axis and a boon for Israel.

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