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Friday, June 08, 2007

Olmert ready to give away the Golan

Desperate for support from Israel's radical left, Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert has passed 'secret messages' to chinless ophthalmologist Bashar al-Assad indicating that he is willing to 'return the Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty' in return for 'a comprehensive peace agreement and the severing of Damascus’ alliance with Iran and terror groups in the region.' Olmert is willing to give the Syrians time to unwind their alliances:
The prime minister expressed his willingness to live up to his end of the bargain if Syria would “gradually dissolve its alliances with Iran, Hizbullah and the Palestinian terror organizations and stop funding and promoting terror”.
Assad has not responded to Olmert's offer supplication.

In this region, that kind of statement is signaling weakness. It's the last thing Israel needs right now.

Also, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu said yesterday that Bashar's father Hafez had agreed to Israel keeping Mount Hermon (where it has extensive radar stations) in return for withdrawing to the 1923 international boundary, which is about ten meters from the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. That, by the way, would be an 'improvement' over the June 4, 1967 boundaries, but in the past Netanyahu's 'associates' have denied that he was willing to go that far. Under the deal, a line from Damascus to Safed would have been demilitarized.

Update 10:37 AM

For an excellent expansion on why the last thing Israel needs right now is to signal weakness to Syria - and why this type of 'offer' signals weakness - go here.

Update 10:43 AM

Israelis are overwhelmingly opposed to withdrawing from the Golan and do not trust Assad.
An overwhelming 84% of the Israeli public opposes handing over the entire Golan Heights to Syria, according to a Maariv/Teleseker poll. However, these 84% are divided into two groups: one, with 44%, opposes any Israeli withdrawal. The remaining 40% support a partial withdrawal.

74% of those surveyed said they do not believe Syrian President Bashar Assad when he says he wants peace.
A 'partial withdrawal' is irrelevant unless Olmert is stupid enough to do it unilaterally. It is not something to which Assad will ever agree.

On the other hand, Assad's poll numbers in Israel are better than Olmert's....


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