The Zeitgeist Politics

Global Politics with a focus on The Middle East

Syria – Israel peace talks to resume?

with one comment

Much has been made of Syria’s President Bashar al Assad’s statement that he would like to see peace talks resume between Israel and Syria. Of course, the mind wanders and wonders: who exactly will be brokering this? If Turkey is cooling its ties with Israel, I doubt that they will step in again between the governments of both countries. The new broker could have been Croatia, whose president has been speaking to both parties, but Netanyahu wants to talk directly to Syria now.

If it does ever get down to the negotiating table, the real question will be of the Golan Heights. As an editorial in Ha’aretz points out today while slyly cutting Netanyahu down for “setting preconditions under the guise of opposing the setting of preconditions”:

The Israeli approach to relations with Syria needs to be managed from the end to the start, and the end is a vision of regional peace between Israel and its neighbors. In parallel to efforts to reach a permanent settlement with the Palestinians and without hurting their interests, Israel must seek peace with Syria in the context of Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967: full and secure peace in return for complete withdrawal. Those who do not want such a deal will seek to undermine it using arguments of procedure.

And across the border from Syria and Israel, its been 15 years since Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty. The date went unnoticed until US President Barack Obama referred to it, and Naseem Tarawnah at The Black Iris puts it best:

Jordan and Israel’s Inspiring Peace

“As we work with Arabs and Israelis to expand the circle of peace, we take inspiration from what Jordan and Israel achieved fifteen years ago, knowing that the destination is worthy of the struggle.” – US President, Barack Obama on the 15th anniversary of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty. Monday, October 26, 2009. [source]

After all that has happened in the occupied territories and even in Jordan these past 15 years later: does anyone feel inspired?


Written by Saba Imtiaz

October 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm

One Response

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  1. It’s really a great arrangement. Assad makes a statement like this every month or two, knowing full well that Netanyahu isn’t willing to discuss returning the Golan. And Netanyahu says he’d love to restart diplomacy… as long as Assad drops his pesky preconditions.

    They both get to position themselves as “willing to talk,” but neither has to worry about those talks actually happening.

    I love the peace process!

    Gregg Carlstrom

    October 30, 2009 at 9:51 pm

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