Syrisches Roulette

JERUSALEM: Parlamentarische Manöver im Knesset und die jüngsten Kämpfe im Libanon haben die syrisch-israelischen Friedensgespräche auf Eis gelegt. Selbst die unilaterale Zusicherung Israels, die Armee noch in diesem Sommer aus dem südlichen Libanon abzuziehen, vermochte sie nicht wieder zu entfachen. Dieses Auf und Ab zeigt sehr deutlich die Schwierigkeiten, die in diesem Prozess stecken. Es reflektiert auch das Wesen des in sich geschlossenen Regimes Syriens, das noch nie so etwas wie eine Perestroika durchlaufen hat.

Der bedeutendste neue Punkt jedoch bleibt unverändert: Nach 50 Jahren Feindschaft hat Syrien seine Bereitschaft signalisiert, bezüglich der Aussöhnung mit dem Judenstaat Ägypten, Jordanien und der PLO zu folgen. So scheint es, als ob auch der 'Löwe von Damaskus' ("Assad" bedeutet Löwe in arabisch) nicht länger gewillt ist, sich den Veränderungen in der Region zu entziehen.

Drei Gründe haben den sonst so eiszeitlich anmutenden Präsidenten Hafez al-Assad zur Akzeptanz der Notwendigkeit eines Friedens mit Israel genötigt. Zunächst verlor Damaskus durch den Untergang des Sowiet Blocks den strategischen Schutz Moskaus. Wenn Syrien in Krieg mit Israel treten sollte und dann verliert - wie es in der Vergangenheit Hunderte von Tanks und Flugzeugen verloren hat - würde es keinen automatischen Nachschub aus Moskau geben. Kurz gesagt hat Syrien allein keine militärische Zukunft.

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