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

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What's behind Syrian peace proposals?

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/06/whats-behind-syrian-peace-proposals.html

Here is one explanation of Syrian peace proposals.
 
 
By Amitai Etzioni

Recently I participated in a lunch at the home of the Syrian government's representative to Washington, attended by a small group of people. The meal was arranged according to what is known as the "Chatham House rules," which ban mention of the meeting's specific location and of the names of the participants, but allows for unhindered discussion of what was said.
 
A large part of what was said at that meeting was clearly intended to prepare the ground for the visit of Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, who arrived in Washington the following day. The Syrian representative's tongue slipped just once, when he acknowledged that Syria's peace gesture contains a poison capsule.
 
In order to explain the nature of this poison capsule, the context in which the remarks were made has to be explained. The Syrian representative once again declared that his country wants to improve its ties with the United States. He acknowledged that Syria enjoys good relations with all the factions in Iraq and therefore is capable of helping to achieve a political arrangement to end the civil war that is tearing the country apart. He noted that Syria also has good ties with Iran and can therefore serve as a mediator between Iran and the U.S. He complained bitterly about the Bush administration's position, which holds that there is no need for high-level talks to rebuild the ties between Syria and the U.S. He spoke of Syria's desire to hold talks without preconditions, both with the Bush administration and with Israel.
 
The representative added that the expected military confrontation between Israel and Syria is most distressing, since the disputed issues could be resolved through peaceful means. Nevertheless, he said, if Israel wishes war, Syria is prepared and ready. "Israel will face another surprise, like the one that awaited it in Lebanon," he cautioned.
 
He spoke somewhat bemusedly of the visit by the U.S. House of Representative Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Damascus. She brought with her a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to which "Israel is ready to enter peace talks." Olmert was supposed to issue a public announcement along those lines the following day. The representative said that the Syrian president, Bashar Assad, smiled upon hearing Pelosi's words and merely said, "We'll wait and see." The next day Olmert denied having sent such a message.
 
The Syrian representative reiterated that Syria is willing to begin peace talks at any time without preconditions, but noted that "Israel never agreed to this, because it would create a shared border between Syria and Hamas, through which Syria could arm Hamas as it pleased." In other words, his remarks implied that the peace gestures are empty, because Syria knows they would entail a condition that Israel could not live with.
 
All of this seems to indicate that while Israel continues to express its desire for peace talks with Syria and for a two-state solution, it is thereby placing itself into a trap. When Israel refers to a Palestinian state, almost everyone, except for few diplomats specializing in the Middle East, thinks this refers to a truly sovereign state. Such a state would be free, of course, to import all the arms and foreign soldiers it wishes.
 
However, it seems that Israel is assuming that it will continue to oversee the borders of this Palestinian state, including those with Syria and Jordan, much like it oversees the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and Gaza's sea and air ports today. If that is the case, Israel will be accused of turning the Palestinian state into a prison. That is indeed how many describe Israel's current attitude to the Gaza Strip.
 
Therefore, when Israel resumes peace negotiations with Syria and with the Palestinians, it would do well to stop relying on sophisticated legal distinctions between autonomous territories and sovereign territories. It must make it clear that the Palestinian state that will be established in the wake of a peace arrangement will be demilitarized and that there will be a need for effective enforcement methods, such as a combination of Israeli and European patrols, in order to maintain this demilitarization. Any other peace arrangement would contain a poison capsule.
 
The author is a lecturer in international relations at Georgetown University.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/06/whats-behind-syrian-peace-proposals.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