Israel would much rather deal with neighbours it knows, however unfriendly they are, than have to get used to living next door to new neighbours, who may well turn out to be even more unfriendly. Whatever the people of Syria might want, Israelis would be much happier with a brutal, secular dictator than a brutal, Islamist one.
I joined Unicef after about six months of working with the NGO. Being in Unicef gives me the chance to stay in my country, keep a job, and help vulnerable children at the same time. Life here does get lonely sometimes, with my family and friends out of the country. Everyone goes home before sunset and prefers to stay indoors for safety, which leaves no room for social life after work. I go home in the evening and continue working. Power supply is erratic, and water is available only every few days, and only for a few hours.
There is little evidence to suggest that sending in our bombers or arming the rebels will ratchet down, rather than ratchet up, the violence. Remember: weapons are fungible. We have no way of preventing the al-Qaeda-affiliated members of the opposition from getting hold of bombs and bullets supplied by Britain and France. Nor does anyone have a credible plan of action for the day after Assad falls.
Out of all the places to meet Zuheir Salem, the number two man of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB), a David Brent-style office in Alperton, north London, is probably the least expected. The office of the SMB is so elusive that even the security guard does not know what the SMB are or what they do.