By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
An ex-Syrian brigadier general named Nabir al Dandal recently sent a letter to Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Israeli Knesset.
Al Dandal said that the Syrians want and need peace with Israel. They want it now more than ever.
The letter was sent through academic researchers.
In a phone interview with Ynet, a leading internet source of Israeli news, al Dandal said: "When I was a part of the regime, I was convinced that former President Hafez Al-Assad missed an opportunity to make peace like former Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat. But when you serve the regime, you need to say what it wants (you to say) and not what you really think."
Al Dandal expressed his frustration that Israel has not supported the Syrian resistance against Assad.
"Israel has an opportunity to make peace with the Syrian people, who now, since the revolution against al-Assad, have made sense of many things including the lie that the regime is selling regarding its resistance to Israel."
The ex-general and former high level Assad government leader made it clear that he wants real peace - as do the people of Syria.
"Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans - those (among them) who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve."
Al Dandal also said that: "The Syrian people want to emphasize to the Israeli people that it wants to separate itself from wars and that it is ready to take the necessary steps to build the infrastructure for religious coexistence in the homeland of Moses and Jesus."
This is very important. It shows a real opening in dialogue between Israelis and Syrians. It shows potential. Al Danadal, who says he is not just a one man voice but rather the voice of many people is bemoaning the fact that there was no diplomatic movement to normalize relations with Syria as there was with Egypt - and he is hoping that that normalization can still be brought into play.
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