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Saturday, January 1, 2011
[With comment]Al Rai:Sudden breakthrough on the path of Syrian - Israeli peace

{Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: The report below sounds quite possible. In
particular taking into account that it has PM Netanyahu handing the matter
to DM Barak to deal with. Such a move distances Mr. Netanyahu from actually
having to take a stand on the initiative (he takes the neutral position of
wanting only to develop more details of what is actually on the table) while
at the same time giving DM Barak a bone for the Labor Party to chew on so
that they remain in the coalition.

Keep in mind that this story comes out at the same time as
current-COS-politician-in-waiting Ashkenazi launches his political career on
the pages of Haaretz by leading the withdrawal from Golan movement.

As for the substantive concept behind the initiative: it is naïve and
childish to think that retreating from the Golan will transform Syria into a
stable, reliable, peace loving regime that won't exploit Israel's withdrawal
from the strategic Golan Heights in ways that will significantly recue,
rather than improve, Israel's security.


#1. Reliability: How long ago did the Syrians secretly build a nuclear site
in violation of solemn promises? The Syrians can deny that they are
involved with supplying weapons to Hezbollah (wink wink) and Hezbollah can
even complain that they are having supply problems (wink wink) and the flow
can continue unabated.

#2. Syrian relations with Iran: Take a look at the heavy Iranian investment
of Iran in projects in Syria that don't make economic sense (automobile
manufacturing, the largest flat glass plant in the Middle East, etc.) but
support the regime. Investments that the West can't replace. But it isn't
just the money. When the Syrians explain that they cannot "lose face" by
turning their backs on Iran the very same experts who are saying Syria can
be pulled away from Iran will explain with a smile that the Syrian excuse
makes perfect sense.

#3. It isn't about the Golan Heights: When analyzing the motives of
political actors who launch wars there are a host of reasons, both domestic
and international, that they go to war that have absolutely nothing to do
with the country that they are attacking. Why rule all of these out in the
case of the minority Allawite lead regime?

#4. Under the Egyptian model, an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights
will lead to the arming of Syria with the best American weapons U.S. aid
money can supply - including mobile anti-aircraft systems that could be used
in a move to invade an unnamed enemy located southwest of Syria (yes -
Israel. The Egyptians train to use their American weapons to invade an
unnamed enemy to the East of the Suez Canal).

So why do we still have this kind of talk from adults?

#1. Some are part of the withdrawal cult that genuinely believes that
retreat will yield utopian peace for generations. This is a "belief" and as
such does not have to be based on or subject to logic.

#2. Others really aren't particularly concerned about the long term
ramifications. And let's not forget: what did Henry Kissinger get the
Nobel Peace Prize for? [Hint - one of the parties to the agreement no
longer exists after it was destroyed by another party to the agreement.]

Al Rai:Sudden breakthrough on the path of Syrian - Israeli peace
1 January 2011 Al Rai (Kuwaiti newspaper) Washington Hussain Abdul-Hussain
[Google translation]

What happens behind the scenes, and why he visited the former envoy to the
peace process Dennis Ross Damascus last week and met senior officials? Will
reach Syria and Israel to sign a peace agreement «in the very near future»
in the words of one U.S. officials?

Al «opinion» of Well-informed sources, said the past few weeks have seen
«Syria in response to an unprecedented» in the peace process, prompting
Washington to open a secret back channel with Syrian officials in order to
reach a comprehensive peace agreement between Syria and Israel.

The sources said Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, who has
befriended Bruce since the work of the teacher's ambassador to Washington in
the nineties, send positive signals to the Americans two weeks ago to the
effect that «the Syrians are ready to re-engage in dialogue with the
Israelis and to reach a peace». The sources added that the administration of
President Barack Obama, facing difficulties in advancing the peace process
between Palestinians and Israelis, believes that peace between Syria and
Israel would be «a breakthrough in the peace process as a whole, and can be
built upon to achieve peace in the Palestinian territories».

Sources said that in the time that did not nominate details about the
substance of negotiations Ross with the Syrians, but said Ross informed the
Department that «touch preparation Syria an unprecedented move away from
Iran and ease relations with Hezbollah and Hamas, and cooperation with the
United States in the fight against terrorism». In contrast, Israel expressed
«fully prepared for a full return of the Golan to the Syrians, and to reach
agreements on water sharing, and immediate normalization of relations

On the Israeli side, where he visited the Ross Tel Aviv as well as for the
green light to direct negotiations according to the Syrian request, American
sources say that Washington exerted enormous pressure on the Israelis in
order to «make concessions somewhere, either on the Palestinian track or on
the Syrian-Lebanese track», What «prompting Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to refer to the Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, the biggest
supporters to reach an Israeli peace with Syria, to follow it up with Ross».

American sources say that Netanyahu is that if the negotiations had reached
a breakthrough, it can be adopted in public, either did not reach to new, he
can keep away from him and put the blame on Barak and the Americans.

This «breach sudden» is the one who pushed the administration to be included
the name of Ambassador Robert Ford in the decree issued by the White House,
last Wednesday, surpassing the Senate to send Ford to Damascus for a year,
the administration hopes to reach peace between Israel and Syria before
ending the mandate of the Ford.

Finally, the parties considered the «wing» in the U.S. capital that «the
noose around the neck of intense Iran economically, what drives (Syrian
President Bashar) Assad to the recitation of the ship itself in alliance
Tehran, added to the belief that Assad's peace with Israel, protect his
regime from the repercussions of Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Assad
realized that after his recent visit to Paris that there is no way to stop
them ». This, according to the American right-wing parties, which means that
«the usual al-Assad is not serious about reaching peace with Israel, but
this paper is used in an attempt to get out of the current Irtath».

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