On Wednesday May 21, the Prime Minister’s Office announced direct negotiations between Israel and Syria in Turkey.These negotiations frighten some people – is Syria’s drive for “peace” to deceive Israel and grant Iran easier access to our homeland? Do they want to talk to us just to get the Golan Heights, and then coordinate with their Palestinian and Arab neighbors to destroy Israel? In essence we ask: is it worth it for Israel to participate in this peace process, and does Syria truly have legitimate reasons to do so?The answer, in my opinion, is yes.
Talks actually began in February 2007; for all three parties involved to have kept this a secret for so long suggests that a well thought out focus on peace is shared among the powers.Wednesday’s statements, released simultaneously by Jerusalem and Damascus, read: “The two sides have declared their intention to hold the negotiations in good faith and openly, and hold a serious and continuous dialogue in order to reach a comprehensive peace deal.Fom a security standpoint, it is vital for us at this time to remain open to discussing peace with Syria.Iran’s strong grip and steady support of the Syrian nation intensifies the threat at our northern border.Some argue that our current status with Syria, a seemingly quiet one, is enough; they believe efforts for peace will ruin the tranquility. However, as long as Syria and Israel are not seriously invested in discussions, Iran will be using Syria to its advantage against Israel.And as long as Iran and Syria foster a tight alliance, violent bedlam can erupt in Israel at any moment.I think we should be thankful that we find ourselves in this opportunity to seek peace with a nation we have long been shaky about.
We should take advantage of our luck and not waste time doubting Syria’s dedication to the efforts. It is evident that Syria is looking to end its international isolation and establish and strengthen ties with western nations. Syria looks to Egypt and Israel, and recognizes the immeasurable American support that pours into its borders. They then look to their own means of support, Iran, and find an overly-fundamental nation that they have no particular care for. Syria’s strong connection to Iran is convenient but not vital; Syria is finally beginning to prioritize and scout out a means of support that will institute and secure its position as a universally beneficial nation. Syria has begun to realize that if it pulls the right strings and behaves accordingly, not only does it have the potential to become a strong ally of Israel and the United States, but the nation may even transform into an esteemed world power.
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