Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~Peace with Syria? by shaynaschor
May 25, 2008, 2:19 am
Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags:

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.


4 Comments so far
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A couple of things:
This is nothing very new. Peace talks over the Golan have existed with every PM since Rabin, excluding Sharon. Each time, the two sides can not agree on the border, Israel doesn’t want Syria touching the Kineret, and Syria won’t agree without a border at the sea line.

The argument of whether to agree to peace is very difficult. Do we give up strategic land for peace? Can we trust Syria to cut negotiations with Iran? If we don’t have peace, are we risking the existence of Israel? Is Tzahal ready for another war if need be?

I don’t know what the best answer for all those questions are, and no politician does either. They are just some things to consider.

In the end, I don’t think much will formulate, just because of the receding water level of the Kineret, along with the fact that Israel already gives Jordan 50 million liters of water a year.

Comment by Ron Shapiro

As much as I would love to see peace with Syria, it is clear that these talks are not serious.
If Assad were serious about the Golan, he would stop funding Hezbollah. If he want to prove that he really wants peace, then I call on him to come to the Knesset and show his face.
The real agenda: Olmert is just trying to divert attention from his corruption scandal and failed efforts with the Palestinians.
For both Olmert and Assad, this is a win-win situation. If Olmert gets indicted, he can just make the case that he is in the middle of achieving peace with Syria and that its too crucial for him to step down. Assad on the other hand realizes that his funding for terrorism and friendship with Iran has done his economy no good. Even though he is not serious, this makes him look good at the UN.

Comment by Diamond

Serious about peace or not (and I firmly believe not), since the Golan heights were annexed by Israel the decision to cede it to Syria needs majorities both in the Knesset and by referendum-popular consensus. Neither of which are likely to happen soon with over 70% of israelis against the idea of giving up the Golan and politiians mimicking their constituents.

Comment by ksbeck90

Also, it seems a bit odd to sign an agreement with a country that is run by officials of a religion that believe that any agreement with a non-Muslim is not valid.

Comment by Ron Shapiro

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