Posted by Joshua on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Helena Cobban has an excellent short summary of Syrian-Israeli peace negotiations.
Rumyal (Yossi) writes: Helena Cobban has a good post summarizing the history of Syrian-Israeli peace negotiations. She doesn’t mention the indirect negotiations mediated with Abe Suliman and Alon Liel, but otherwise it looks pretty complete.
This summary requires a bit of discussion. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been almost two decades now since we have sat down at the table and started talking about peace. And guess what, there was almost never anything unbridgeable in the positions, certainty not after Oslo in 93, when the Syrians started viewing themselves as free to sign their own bi-lateral agreement with Israel, separate from the Palestinians.
So… why don’t we have peace with Syria? That’s because I and the rest of the citizens of Israel are a bunch of certified DUMMIES. A herd of catatonic meat-eating sheep. In almost all the negotiations with Syria, negotiations broke down due to political expediency calculations from our joker-of-a-leader de-jour. The only one who wasn’t a joker, and was dead serious—was also seriously dead, literally, because of that. I’m talking about Yitzhak Rabin of course…..
An article in the Arabic Economic News, a Syrian economic magazine, gives the following breakdown of the top 1000 industrialists: 75% are in Damascus, 10% in Aleppo, and 5% each in Latakia, Homs and Tartus.
مجلة سورية تطلق قائمة أبرز 20 صناعي في سورية بينهم ثلاث سيدات
وتوزع شيوخ كار الصناعة 2009 على المحافظات وفقا للنسب التالية 75 % دمشق، 10 % حلب، 5 % اللاذقية، 5% طرطوس، 5% حمص.
Boston Globe: Syrian dissident receives rare acquittal
2009-06-17 by Khaled Yacoub Oweis
A Syrian court issued on Wednesday a rare acquittal in a political case, finding dissident Walid al-Bunni not guilty of “weakening the morale of the nation.” Syrian dissident receives rare acquittal
Faysal Miqdad: “Syria’s relations with the next Lebanese government will be based on two key issues, he said, ‘The first is the way this government deals with Syria and its view of Lebanese- Syrian relations. The second is the way it deals with Hezbollah’s arms, which Syria sees as a necessity to Lebanon in the face of the Israeli occupation.'”
“When the prime minister and the government uses the word ‘state’ now, it has to attach a number of caveats to it, so it’ll be understood that what we’re talking about here is not a state in the classical sense, as is widely understood, but a state that will have some — some — substantive restrictions on its powers,”
Earlier, touring the site of the American International School, a private institution in Gaza that was bombed by the Israelis during the war, Mr. Carter said, “I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wreaked against your people.” He added that he felt partly responsible because the school had been “deliberately destroyed by bombs from F-16s made in my country.”
“Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings,” he said.
In a related development on Tuesday, two Israeli groups that advocate for Palestinians, HaMoked and Gisha, revealed a new Israeli procedure that makes it impossible for Gaza residents to move to the West Bank in all but the most exceptional of cases. For example, the groups said, under the policy, chronically ill patients, orphans and elderly invalids will not be able to receive care from their closest relatives living in the West Bank if they have any relatives in Gaza capable of caring for them.
Carter is becoming a huge problem and a growing concern for Obama,” a Washington Middle East hand said. “They are very pissed with him.” (Laura Rosen in the Cable at Foreign Policy)
Living in Exile: Young Iraqi refugees in Syria
has come to the realization that the doctrine of brute military force against foreign citizens in faraway lands is not a winning strategy in the long term. …
After watching the U.S. try and fail for years to put down insurgencies in both countries, Gen. McChrystal said he believes that to win in Afghanistan, “You’re going to have to convince people, not kill them.
“Since 9/11, I have watched as America tried to first put out this fire with a hammer, and it doesn’t work,” he said last week at his home at Fort McNair in Washington. “Decapitation strategies don’t work.”…
are predominately young and male. The highest proportion of female bloggers is found in the Egyptian youth sub-cluster, while the Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood clusters have the highest concentration of males…..
The one political issue that clearly concerns bloggers across the Arab world is Palestine, and in particular the situation in Gaza (Israel’s December 2008/January 2009 military action occurred during the study). Other popular topics include religion (more in personal than political terms) and human rights (more common than criticism of western culture and values). Terrorism and the US are not major topics. When discussing terrorism, Arab bloggers are overwhelmingly critical of terrorists. When the US is discussed, it is nearly always critically…..
The agency’s monitoring of domestic e-mail messages, in particular, has posed longstanding legal and logistical difficulties, the officials said.
Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation.