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#Syria is destroyed by a brutal war. It just had its #GolanHeights recognized by the U.S. as #Israel territory. Damascus has long been part of the resistance camp, a stand that has cost the country & its people dearly over the decades. This 👇is the man who set it on this course
2-#Syria and rest of the Arab world had to make a decision on how to react to the 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution to Partition Palestine. Syria had barely gained independence after years of resisting the French. The man in charge at the time was President Shukri al-Quwatli
3-History shows that going into war is often regarded as illogical with benefit of hindsight. Quwatli knew his army was too weak to resist partition of Palestine. Yet, he found himself caught in a vicious circle of Arab intrigue/division/competition that plunged #Syria into war
4-Quwatli’s nemesis at the time was Hashemite King Abdullah of #Jordan who had a dream of Greater #Syria under his rule. The King was in support of a peaceful partition plan with the Jews. Quwatli knew that should the King get his way, he will march on to Damascus next
5-This 👇by @joshua_landis is MUST READ on this critical period of #Syria ‘s modern history. This thread is merely a brief summary of this outstanding chapter detailing how and why Damascus found itself entering the “resistance camp” nearly 70 years ago.…
6-Quwatli’s fears of King Abdullah’s plans were not unmerited. The king was seen to have the support of Britain. He already made alliances with Turkey & Iraq , and by Nov 1947 had agreed with Golda Meyerson (Meir) that #Jordan & Yishuv would divide Palestine among themselves
7-From the beginning, King Abdullah believed that war was not the answer and told Arab leaders that they could not win it in any case. Partition was the only way forward, he argued. War would bring disaster on the Arab house and cause unnecessary suffering.
King Abdullah to Arab leaders in 1948: "Why should the Arabs try to fight the Jews?They will only lose many innocent lives. The Jews are people and will have to come to the negotiating table. Better to cut a deal with them. After all, they will have to live with their neighbors"
8-Domestically, Quwatli was caught in a typical chicken & egg dilemma. Was his strong proclamations against partition cementing & adding to the public’s feverish Arab nationalistic sentiments or was it the street that was pushing Quwatli into a path that he simply couldn’t resist
9-Leading up to the Parliamentary vote that would commit #Syria to war, al-Barazi (PM) told an American diplomat, the “public’s desire for war is irresistible”. Only two people spoke out against the decision to go to war as the crowds gathered outside to chant in favor of it
10-The only Parliamentarian to speak against war was Farzat al-Mamlouk 👇, an AUB graduate from Douma who was a friend to many of #Syria ‘s top officers. He reminded the assembly that the country had no more than 10,000 soldiers who were badly equipped & without adequate supplies
11- Farzat al-Mamlouk also spoke about how #Syria ‘s relations with fellow Arab Govts were in shambles. How could the Arabs fight the Jews without unity, he asked. Farzat stated 👇
12- On the power of “the street” and the dynamic inside #Syria ‘s chamber, Farzat al-Mamlouk also wrote 👇
13- As Farzat left the building, PM Mardam told him:

"My brother, If you only knew the incredible lengths to which Shukri Bayk and I have had to go in order to convince the Arab countries to enter this war, you wouldn't oppose my request; the public good demands it.”
14-The other notable voice against the war was Faris al-Khouri, the Christian President of the Parliament who argued that #Syria Should accept the partition of Palestine as “the best and only viable solution”. He was quickly silenced
15-Farzat al-Mamlouk was later tried & found guilty of treason for conspiring w Iraq to overthrow the Govt.He fled to Lebanon & then returned to #Syria. Following 1966 coup he was imprisoned in Palmyra, where he remained for several years before being placed under house in Douma
16-Quwatli was never able to to tell public that he was for #Syria first, or that Syria was too weak to rescue Palestine. Above all, he could not say that #Nabka was proof that Arab nation was mirage or that the Arabs belonged to a collection of states that were bitterly divided
17- For their part, the lesson most Syrians drew from the #Nabka was that a revolution in the Arab status quo was necessary. Very few took the view that the competing unity schemes were the source of inter-Arab enmity and distrust – that Syria needed stability, not revolution
18- #Syria, who pushed hardest for war & who considered itself the beating heart of Arabism was hardest hit post #Nabka by pervasive sense of popular disappointment & belief that its leadership had let them down. Country was to push further left & into coups culminating w Ba'ath
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