Mostafa Zein
Dar Al-Hayat (Opinion)
July 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The band of the Likud and its philosophers were the stars of the carnival staged by part of the Syrian opposition in Paris. Calling for the festivities was Bernard-Henri Lévy, who is – for those who do not know him – one of those who used to be called the “New Philosophers” in France, a group that also include his colleague André Glucksmann. Both abandoned philosophy a long time ago. There is no longer anything known of them in this field, after the former dedicated himself to public relations and the defense of Israel, and the latter to attacking the Arabs and everything Left-wing in this world, having become a Likudist.

Among those present was also France’s former Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, known in his country as the “clown” and in our countries as an enemy of Arab causes and a skillful defense attorney for Israel. Another star of the carnival was Alex Goldfarb, a former member of the Israeli Knesset and adviser to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who fulfills other tasks as well.

As for the representatives of part of the Syrian opposition at the carnival, most of them are not well known, except for Lama Atassi, President of “France-Syrie Démocratie”, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mulhem Droubi, and Ashraf Al-Moqdad of the “National Salvation Front” headed by Abdul Halim Khaddam. Some intellectuals from the opposition boycotted the carnival, among them Burhan Ghalioun, Sobhi Hadidi and Farouk Mardam-Bey, who issued a statement denouncing the carnival’s philosopher and his “Likudist” followers.

The fact is that speakers at the carnival did not restrict themselves to attacking the Syrian regime, but went beyond it to hold Arabism and Egyptian-Syrian unity responsible for the spread of tyranny, while the defense by some of the Frenchmen of Zionism and its democracy was at its utmost. The meeting thus turned from a carnival of “solidarity with the Syrian people” to a carnival of praise for the Likud and of defense of Zionism.

This is the behavior of part of the Syrian opposition. They want to overthrow the regime at any cost, even at the expense of the blood of Syrians. These few, in a hurry to attain power, are confirming their short-sightedness day after day. Indeed, they are, with their behavior and their disregard for what surrounds Syria, and by displaying their good intentions towards Israel, doing the regime a tremendous favor.

More importantly, they are not taking into consideration the civil wars caused by the interference of the United States, and by extension of Israel, in Iraq and in Lebanon. And if those destructive wars in the two countries are insufficient for a lesson to be learned, the destruction of Libya is taking place right before our eyes, under the pretext of spreading democracy and getting rid of the dictator, so as for Libyans to enjoy the spring of opposition militias.

The problem with this kind of opposition is its political illiteracy, and its lack of faith in the people which it claims to represent, which leads it to resort to foreign forces. This is what happened to the Iraqi opposition, which did not trust the Iraqis, and did not trust that time would be sure to do away with dictatorship, and this is what happened in Libya. There are also some Lebanese who had preceded everyone to this. They have not learned their lesson yet.

On the other hand, opposition members meet in Damascus, and participate in popular protests. They discuss the situation and how to change the regime or find ways to reform it, without carnivals organized by Paris’s Likudists, and without resorting to NATO, the United States or the Security Council.

The difference between those who attend a carnival organized by Bernard-Henri Lévy and those who boycott it and support the Damascus meetings is very simple. The former are short-sighted and seek power at any cost, and the latter are real intellectuals and opposition members, who know Syria’s role in its surroundings and are trying to strengthen it with democracy.

France’s Likudists have turned the “Syrian Spring” into an “Israeli Spring”, and part of the opposition did not object.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017