An “expert” on Egypt’s Al Nas TV station has claimed that Bashar Assad — the Syrian dictator who has maintained his father’s decades-old hostility to Israel and who has blamed Jews for killing Jesus and trying to kill the Prophet Muhammad — is Jewish himself, a descendant of a Jewish dynasty that originated in Isfahan, Iran.
The Syrian president, who has slaughtered thousands of his own people in a vicious civil war in the past 18 months, is “the descendant of a dynasty of a man named Suliman al-Wahash who arrived in Syria in 1860 or 1870 from Isfahan in Iran,” an Egyptian sociologist interviewed by the station claimed. Records show “this to have been a Jewish family,” the interviewee said, in a clip broadcoast by Israel’s Channel 10 news on Thursday.
In fact, the Assad family, members of the minority Alwaite sect, hails from Qardaha in northwest Syria. It is said to descend from one Ali Suleyman, who changed the family name to Assad — lion — in the 1920s.
Critics of Bashar Assad over the years, the Israeli TV report noted, have also claimed he had a Jewish lover and that one of his daughters was married to a Jew.
Assad’s father and presidential precedessor Hafez Assad went to war against Israel several times and resisted US-backed peace efforts. For his part, Bashar told the visiting Pope John Paul II in 2001 that Jews “tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.” He subsequently asserted that the comments were not anti-Semitic.
Al Nas TV was reportedly the first Arabic TV station to broadcast a clip of the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims” — an extended clip, dubbed in Arabic — thus apparently playing a key role in triggering the ongoing protests against the film.
The Egyptian station is said to be financed by the Saudi government and affiliated to the conservative Salafi Muslim movement.