An Israeli Defence Forces' soldier takes part in a drill on the Golan Heights (photo: dpa)

Israel's perspective on Syria and the radical Sunni movements

Since the establishment of their state in 1948, Israeli Jews have considered Syria to be its most bitter Arab enemy. This feeling has been further exacerbated by the Syrian government’s aggressive response to the rebel uprising within its borders – ongoing since March 2011. This report looks at how Israel regards its neighbour and how misunderstandings of various religious factions within Syria has hindered Israel’s role in encouraging the ascendancy of pragmatic Sunni elements.

THE majority of Israeli Jews view the Syrian government and the country’s Sunni radical movements as enemies – an attitude which has been further exacerbated following the eruption of the Syrian civil war in M...

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Dr. Moshe Ma’oz
These Sunni Muslim elements infiltrated into Syria during the ongoing civil war, taking part in the fight against Assad’s troops. They are certainly deadly enemies of Israel and Jews, but are unlikely to take over Syria
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