Friday, May 23, 2008

Israel, Syria talking peace

If you recall, Our Fearless Leader recently bashed Senator Obama for his highly controversial reality-based announcement that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of nations with whom we don’t necessarily agree. According to W., such a move is tantamount to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolph Hitler in Munich in 1938. He made these ridiculous comments in front of a foreign (in fairness it was the Israeli) legislature. (In fact, the first draft of this post was titled “Godwin’s Law violation update.) Incidentally, talking to other world leaders is not the same as ceding half of another sovereign nation. Speaking of throwing someone under the bus….

Now we are learning that the Israelis have been negotiating with the Syrians for (if Al Jazzeera is to be believed) about a year. The main sticking point from the Israeli perspective is Syria’s barely veiled support of Hezbollah, the political party/army/terrorist group that has been one of the many thorns in the side of the Middle East’s only legitimate democracy. Granted, Hezbollah is dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel. The animosity goes back to the 1948 founding of Israel when Europeans unilaterally declared that sovereignty of Palestine would be transferred from the current occupants to the Jewish people. Here is a link to a powerful interview about the impact of this decision on the Palestinian people. It sounds an awful lot like land theft to me.

Regardless, this is how negotiations work. Both sides bring their extreme demands to the table and they concede on points until they come to a resolution. Perhaps Hezbollah would be more reasonable if Israel were to RETURN (not cede) the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms to Syria and discuss the status of some Lebanese prisoners being held in Israel. That might just convince Syria to end their support for Hezbollah and stop the killings by both sides.

Currently, Turkey is coordinating the negotiations between Israel and Syria. All things considered, it would probably be for the best if the United States were to let our NATO ally take the lead on this.

Of course, W. and the other Neocons contend that such foreign policy liberalism is irrational and only realism works. It’s almost as if they want us to be constantly at war with someone. That’s good news for the defense industry. Not so good for people like this. But as we all know, negotiations never, ever, ever, ever, ever resolve anything. Err… never mind. Keeping in mind, too, that Bush and Co. negotiated on the Libya thing. Jest sayin’

It should go without saying that peace talks in this region seem to fail more often than they succeed, but a single failure is not a reason to give up entirely. Syria is the only state bordering Israel that has not yet signed a peace agreement. Hopefully, this is another major step to a true peace in the Holy Land. Also, here’s hoping we can get this worked out sometime before Jan. 20, 2009.


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