JAFFA – President Barack Obama is responsible for the death of a million people in Syria and Iraq, and were it not for Israel’s existence, Iran – buoyed by U.S. policies – would have destroyed the entire Middle East, Syrian opposition figure Issam Zeitoun charged during a Breitbart Jerusalem exclusive interview.
Zeitoun, who was in Israel as part of a panel focusing on the crisis in his native Syria at June’s Herzliya Conference, lamented that Syrians have been told the lie that Israel is their one true enemy. He noted that life in a besieged Gaza is “paradise” next to life in Syria – even before the civil war that ripped the country apart.
“Palestinians don’t even realize they live in paradise,” Zeitoun said. “Even Gaza is better than Syria ever was. We would love to have an enemy like Israel. Instead, the regime is raping girls in front of their parents or slaughtering children in front of their parents or killing with chemical weapons.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Zeitoun commented, in its wars against Hamas in Gaza, “Israel gives humanitarian ceasefires every day and sends in trucks with humanitarian aid.”
According to Zeitoun, the existence of Israel is a fact that the Arab world should finally accept.
“Israel is a superpower in the region,” he said. “They built a country where the Arabs failed.”
Zeitoun asked to “imagine a world where Israel wasn’t in the Middle East.”
“Iran would’ve swallowed the whole Middle East – from Yemen to Syria, if it wasn’t for Israel,” he said. “Instead, we are taught it is the enemy of our people. But it is treating our injured and giving our refugees humanitarian supplies.”
One of his goals in coming to Israel, Zeitoun said, was to find Israeli partners to ameliorate the crisis in neighboring Syria. Zeitoun, who has visited the Jewish state three times in under a month, claimed to have received positive responses from officials in the Knesset, where he spent two days holding meetings on his latest trip. One of the ideas floating around is the establishment of a “safe zone” for refugees on Syria’s southern border with the Golan Heights. According to Syrian dissident Dr. Kamal Al-Labwani, a safe zone will help solve the crisis of 200,000 internally displaced Syrians in the border area.
Zeitoun asserts that those in Syria hoping to topple Bashar al-Assad’s regime have more in common with Israel than either party thinks. He berated the Free Syrian Army and other elements opposing Assad’s regime for not being able to see past Israel as the enemy – and in particular for not being able to get over Israel’s capture of the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six Day War.
“Israel cannot just leave the strategic Golan [Heights] to the regime,” he said. “The Golan is too important for its security, we have to accept that.”
If Israel was to galvanize troops to establish such a zone it would also be in the country’s interest – not least of all, curbing the advance of extremist groups including the Islamic State.
Zeitoun was harshly critical of the U.S.’s role in the Syrian civil war and the Middle East at large. He said the notion that the U.S. “made a mistake” by invading Iraq is a myth.
“The [U.S.] did not make a mistake, they were fulfilling the dream of [leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution Ayatollah] Khomeini. If it was a mistake, it would have been corrected, but it wasn’t. Bush started it and Obama carried it on,” he said, adding that the “Shi’ite” Obama was responsible for the increase of pro-Iran militants in the region, particularly in Afghanistan.
Zeitoun also compared Obama to a rapist for failing to intervene earlier on.
“Obama is responsible for killing one million people in Syria and Iraq. Doing nothing is a dangerous policy,” said Zeitoun. “When you see someone raping a little girl and you do nothing, you are helping the rapist.”