Syria Tries to Focus Attention on Israel after More Fighting at Border

The Syrian war is too close for comfort. Photo: Signpost showing distance to Damascus. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian war is too close for comfort. Photo: Signpost showing distance to Damascus. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It’s an age-old effort to find a scapegoat, rooted deeply in anti-Semitism and tragically used too often in the Arab political world: blaming Israel. Considering all the problems in Syria—the killing of over a hundred thousand people, the influx of radical Islamic terrorists into the civil war, and the spread of the conflict into neighboring nations—Syria implies the main battle is with Israel?

The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported a Syrian spokesperson as highlighting their refusal to concede any of the territory in the Golan Heights—the border region with Israel. Considering this came just days after another border incident on the Israeli border, it may be more than Syrian rhetoric.

SANA reported that on Monday, Syrian Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban reiterated their insistence on fighting for the Golan and Jerusalem, and was quoted as saying that “clinging to the land and sacrificing for it is the only choice for us.”

She called the Palestinian issue—i.e. the conflict with Israel—the Arabs’ “central issue.” This even as many more continue to die in the Syrian civil war and the violence has touched multiple Muslim nations surrounding Syria. In light of that, Israel shouldn’t even be on the radar.

And so it is disturbing that over the last few months the number of attacks against Israel along the Syrian border appear to have risen, including the incident earlier in March in which the Syrian army cooperated in a bombing that wounded four Israeli soldiers. And on Friday, the fighting continued.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) saw two armed persons “infiltrating into Israel”  and “tampering” with infrastructure on the Syrian border, according to a Friday post from the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed. The IDF shot at the attackers, with hits confirmed.

In Sunday’s comments to the Israeli cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident “an attempt to infiltrate the border.”

Netanyahu, whose comments were released in an official statement, noted that “we will continue to respond to any attempt to attack us and to the best of our ability, as initiated policy, we will foil these attacks before they occur. This is the essence of our ongoing policy; it works and is achieving results.”

So as Syria tries to distract their people and the region by looking at Israel, one has to fear the potential for these diversionary attacks on Israel to continue. If they do, one can be assured that Israel will keep defending themselves against these aggressions.

It’s clear the Syrian regime is desperately trying to do anything to stay in power. One can only hope they won’t start a war with Israel in the process.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 31, 2014)

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