Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Friday, December 22, 2006

Putting Assad to the test

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2006/12/putting-assad-to-test.html

Putting Assad to the test
 
By Ze'ev Schiff

All of Israel's prime ministers, starting with Yitzhak Shamir, engaged in contacts with Syria. At first Yitzhak Shamir did not believe the intelligence assessment, which said that a significant change was taking place in Syria leading up to the Madrid Conference. The head of Military Intelligence at the time, Uri Saguy, offered to show him the raw material as proof, and Shamir was convinced. Yitzhak Rabin agreed to place a "deposit" in the hands of the U.S. secretary of state at the time, Warren Christopher, in the form of territorial concessions in the Golan. Shimon Peres' representatives then met with the Syrians at the Wye Plantation. Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak also held equally unproductive meetings.
 
The statement "all the prime ministers" is meant to emphasize something yet unpublicized: the fact that Ariel Sharon also had secret contacts with the Syrians. In 2004, his representatives held secret meetings with the Syrians in Switzerland. The secret file that held the related documents was called "the Swiss file." These talks apparently began when a third party important to Israel proposed they be held and made arrangements. These talks did not take off either; Sharon understood the price being demanded of him and was opposed.
 
A year earlier, in 2003, Sharon torpedoed the contacts that then-foreign minister Silvan Shalom opened (through Eitan Bentzur, then director general of the Foreign Ministry) with the Syrian president's brother and sister in Jordan. The war in Iraq began at the time, and Sharon proposed postoning the talks by one month. The details were leaked, apparently by his office, and that marked the end of the meetings. Today Shalom says Syrian President Bashar Assad's proposals should be rejected because a meeting with him would mean a severe blow to the moderate Arab countries. However, anyone interested in the honor of these countries should be promoting talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). The problem is that Israel is saying "no" both to Abu Mazen and to Bashar Assad.
 
One of the explanations given for rejecting talks with Syria is based on the claim that President George W. Bush is asking Israel not to hold them, because of the Syrians' behavior vis-a-vis Iraq and Lebanon and because of their support for Palestinian terror. However, it must be recalled that another voice is being heard in the United States - that of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, which recommends opening contacts with Syria. Israel must therefore take into account that it could find itself in a situation in which Washington is holding talks with Damascus and Israel is out in the hallway. What will we say then?
 
The Baker-Hamilton group is not giving in to Damascus easily. Attention should be paid to their recommendations. After leveling criticism at Syria for transfering weapons to Hezbollah and supporting radical Palestinians groups, the study group emphasizes that no U.S. administration will abandon Israel. It states that Damascus must obey United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 and stop supplying arms to Hezbollah, including transfering weapons from Iran to Lebanon. Syria must intervene with Hezbollah and Hamas for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers, stop supplying arms to Hamas and try to convince the organization to recognize Israel's right to exist. What's wrong with these conditions for talks with Syria?
 
Israel has an additional interest. For years it has been claimed here that an agreement with Syria would constitute a buffer between Israel and a nuclear Iran. This must be a strategic goal. For that reason, apparently, Major General (res.) Uri Saguy, who has conducted many of the talks with Syria, says that accepting the invitation to talks with Damascus is not only desirable, but vital. Syria is not, in essence, party to the extremist bloc of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction. And it we'd be better off not pushing them there. It may be that the chances of productive talks with Syria are not great, but Bashar Assad should be put to the test. Why shouldn't Olmert invite him to Jerusalem, or offer to travel to Damascus? A test of that kind would not harm Israel.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2006/12/putting-assad-to-test.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment



<< Home


FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe to
ZNN
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com


Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israpundit
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Z-Word
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
UN-Biased
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Zionism
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
Liberticracia
CNPublications
SEO

Reference
Zionism
Anti-Semitism
Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Bible
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Islamism
Jihad
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Israel
Jew
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism
Russian

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Experimental
Isfake lobby
Mysterology

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products
Mezuzah

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory