Rebel spokesman steps down after saying saying peace with Israel possible; were his comments taken out of context?

Published August 30th, 2016 - 03:56 GMT
Fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (AFP/Zein al-Rifai)
Fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (AFP/Zein al-Rifai)

A series of events appear to have cost a spokesman for Jaysh al-Islam-a Syrian Islamist rebel group-his job. First, Islam Alloush agreed to an interview with Israeli researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov. In the interview-published by the Forum for Regional Thinking-Aloush, it was reported in English and Arabic that Alloush said peace between Syria and Israel is possible. Then, a statement by Jaysh al-Islam that first appeared yesterday claimed he was resigning as spokesman for the group.

However, the aforementioned articles only say that Alloush said any decision on peace with Israel or anyone else would be made by the Syrian people. Surely, it would be possible if left for the people to decide; but this is hardly an endorsement of peace with the Jewish state.

For her part, Tsurkov defended him on Twitter, saying his words were twisted.

I’m sorry Alloush left his job cause of his comments in the interview that were misrepresented. But we need to use my powers for good. Who knows how I can get an interview with Assad?

Some have speculated that his resignation is due to the comments, although Jaysh al-Islam’s press release does not mention them.

Jaysh al-Islam is a radical Salafi rebel group known for its military competency and support from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Israel has no formal alliance with any Syrian rebel group, but it has been reported they support some Syrian rebels through medical care. Israel has also attacked regime ally Hezbollah in Syria since the start of the war.


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