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Monday, July 13, 2009

Syria won't set border with Lebanon

Do you remember how the US and 'our friends the Saudis' were 'pushing' Syria to demarcate its border with Lebanon, so that they could push Israel to give the strategic Mount Dov (Shaba Farms) area to Lebanon and thereby 'take away' Hezbullah's raison d'etre (as if that's the only reason Hezbullah exists)? Well, I'm sure you'll all be shocked - just shocked - to hear that as I predicted, the Syrians just said no.

The Syrian representative, Bashar Ja'afari, sent a series of letters to the UN stipulating that Syria considered the defining of a future Syrian-Lebanese border, especially regarding the Shaba Farms, unfeasible until Israel withdrew from the entire area, the Israeli-Arab news Web site Al Arab reported Sunday.

Despite the seriousness of the letters, Israeli experts believe this is just another attempt by the Syrian regime to create unrest on the international scene whenever the opportunity presents itself.

"In general, the Syrian regime does everything it can to prevent the reduction of tensions and greater stability between Israel and Lebanon. It's a matter of stirring the pot whenever they can," said Gerald Steinberg, head of the political science department at Bar-Ilan University.


"The Syrians use the issue of the Shaba Farms because they want the international community to think that Israel is a border violator, so they'll do everything to reenergize the issue," said Dan Diker, senior foreign policy analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
While I agree with Steinberg and Diker that the Syrians are more than happy to stir the pot and try to make Israel look bad, I highly doubt they would just give Mount Dov to Lebanon the day after Israel (God forbid) turns the entire Golan Heights over to them. They certainly would not do it without getting something in return. And I'm not even sure that Lebanon would ask for it if it's in Syria's hands. If anything, it seems less likely that Lebanon would ask for it if Hezbullah were in a position of power.
Diker believes that viewing the conflict as a matter of borders is a misconception, and that it should be approached as a matter of Israel's right to exist.

"The international community has always responded to border issues. That is why the international community has always gotten the conflict wrong. We are in a dispute to see if we can exist in any borders in the Middle East," said Diker.
That has to be our talking point - over and over and over again. For so many years, our foreign ministry has been run by morons who don't get that and our hasbara (public relations) has been run by morons who don't want to understand it. We need to say it over and over and over again: This conflict is not about borders. It's about the existence of a Jewish state on the historic land of Israel.


At 10:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Captain Obvious would get it. Its never been about territory or borders. Maybe some day, the Israeli government will stop giving away something for nothing.

What could go wrong indeed


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