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Israel should support Syrian 'Druzistan'

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former Cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser argues that if and when the Assad regime falls in Syria, Israel should support self-rule by the local Druze population.
Members of the Druze community stand behind Syrian (R) and Druze flags during a protest in the Druze village of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights, June 15, 2015. Several hundred members of the Druze community on Monday called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to protect their Syrian kin following last week's killing of 20 Druze villagers by the Nusra Front, Syria's al Qaeda branch, during fighting in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and

The increasing number of clashes between forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Druze in southern Syria have raised an unprecedented public discussion in Israel about the policy it should adopt toward this crisis.

Zvi Hauser, Israeli secretary to the Cabinet from 2009 to 2013, was for years privy to high-level security consultations within the government, including on the Syrian issue. While Cabinet secretary, Hauser also served as secretary to the restricted ministerial forum, the diplomatic-security cabinet. Working currently as a lawyer in the private sector, Hauser is viewed by many as a public-political figure and is considered close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview with Al-Monitor, he spoke of some of the steps needed, in his opinion, to restore stability to the region to halt the expansion of jihadi elements. According to Hauser, the most important measures at this point are for the United States and the rest of the West to recognize Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights and to advance the establishment of an independent Druze entity in Syria.

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