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Monday, October 23, 2006

Amir Comrade Peretz tries to save the Assad regime

What will he think of next? Today, in a speech to the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors in Jerusalem, Israel's Defense Minister Amir Comrade Peretz called on the Israeli government to negotiate with the fascist regime of Bashar al-Assad:
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday that Israel should explore the possibility of making peace with Syria.

"Israel needs to demonstrate its willingness to make painful concessions if our main interests are [to be] maintained," he said, while stressing that Israel has to be "ready for every scenario of military confrontation" with its neighbor along the northeast border.

Peretz noted that Syrian President Bashar Assad has recently made overtures of peace as well as threats of military confrontation in interviews with the international press.
Peretz also wants to negotiate with the powerless 'moderate' Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen:
But Peretz said the government should "consider" each of the Baathist leader's positions. More broadly, he said that Israel needs to be engaging moderate Arab leaders, specifically Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"Israel should not withdraw its hand from diplomatic efforts," he said. "A stalemate is not on the agenda."
But the Assad regime in Syria is on the verge of collapse according to Abdul-Halim Khaddam, an exiled former Syrian vice president who is wanted in Syria on treason charges. Khaddam's address was on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic feast marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and was broadcast on Lebanon's Future TV, an anti-Syrian station owned by the family of slain former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
"Ask yourselves, my brothers, after six years of his taking over the administration of the country, what has Bashar Assad done except spread corruption, increase suffering and (take) wrong decisions that have led to weakening national unity and subjecting Syria to Arab and international isolation," Khaddam said.

"I assure you that the corrupt and tyrannical regime is on the brink of collapse and in the near future, the ruler will see the opportunists and hypocrites that rallied around him fleeing. He and his corrupt family and entourage will find themselves in the hands of justice," he added.

Khaddam's address was aired several days after Arab newspapers reported that the former vice president met with Saudi officials, including King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan.

An Arab diplomat said the meetings took place in Saudi Arabia last week and were significant because they send a message to Syria that the kingdom is upset at Syria's policies and may be exploring other options to deal with the Damascus regime.
As to Abu Mazen, I noted earlier today that his 'moderate' Fatah movement is on the verge of civil war with Hamas and a group of mercenaries (May they kill each other off speedily and in our time). So what's Peretz's motive? I can think of a few:

1. He's continuing in the finest tradition of the Israeli left by saying that the 'peace process' cannot sit still even if there is no one with whom to negotiate.

2. He's trying to provoke a crisis that will keep Avigdor Lieberman out of the government. (Lieberman's change in form of government passed the cabinet today 12-11, but Peretz announced tonight that he is still opposed to Lieberman's entering the government).

3. He's just a fool.


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