Syria said on Tuesday it had reached a deal with an Arab League committee tasked with finding a way to end seven months of unrest and starting a dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.
Syrian protesters chanted "Bye, bye Gadhafi, Bashar your turn is coming" overnight, but President Bashar al-Assad showed few signs of cracking after months of demonstrations and his forces raided an eastern tribal region again on Thursday.
Syria's Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago and is now threatening President Bashar Assad's 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian and closed-off nations in the Middle East.
Sitting with Israeli policy makers during the protests in Tunisia and then Egypt, I could feel the anxiety and alarm as senior officials from across the political spectrum attempted to decipher the implications for the Jewish state. Cries of panic have increased as the upheaval spread throughout the Arab world. My frank, if trite, comment that Israelis and American Jews should be applauding the Arab streets’ attempt to throw the bums out during one meeting in Jerusalem was immediately discounted as ignoring the unproven hypothetical that without “strong” leadership, Arab countries will democratically elect Islamic radicals committed to pushing Israel into the sea.