Posted by Joshua on Thursday, May 29th, 2008
Posted by Qifa Nabki
There is a new topic over at Creative Forum, and many of Syria Comment's regulars have weighed in. The theme of discussion is:
The Syrian-Israeli Peace Process
Question: "Syria and Israel have embarked upon peace negotiations. How optimistic or pessimistic are you about their chances of success? If you had to lay out the terms for an acceptable deal, taking into consideration expectations and worries of Syria's allies, as well as other regional powers, what shape would it take?"
There are many noteworthy contributions; here is just a little sampling:
Alon Liel: "In 2000, it was still possible to trade the Golan for a peace agreement with Syria without discussing the overall regional situation; today, eight years later, that simple bilateral equation seems totally inadequate. Since then, Syria has allied itself with Iran, and with other reactionary terrorist forces of the Islamic world. Detaching it from the extremist embrace will be difficult—difficult, but not impossible…"
Ayman Hakki: "Syrians and Israelis love to talk politics, and that’s why this peace initiative is being discussed, but at heart they are mercantile people who share a y-chromosome that resonates to the music of cha ching."
AnotherIsraeliGuy: "As for Syria, it is unlikely that it is interested in peace with Israel. It is much more interested in a peace process only and with peace (or at least a cease fire) with the US. As the self proclaimed leader of the Arab resistance, Asad has much to lose from a peace deal with Israel."
Abufares: "My first concern is the consequences of a Syrian Israeli peace treaty on the Palestinians. They must not pay for our peace in any shape or form. Then I certainly would not accept a humiliating peace, not for myself nor for my enemy. “Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar!” The Golan Heights must be returned to Syria."
Offended: "If I am to conjure up a physical metaphor to the conflict between Syria and Israel; I can only think of it as a devastating oil spill that is spread miles and miles across an exquisite seaside. It’s disastrous by all means. But while the proprietor of the oil carrier and the GreenPeace activists are stomping the snots out of each other, the spill grows bigger and bigger. And this is indeed what we’ve got in our hands at the moment: a terrible mess that requires nothing less than the efforts of all those involved to contain it."
Shai: "On Wednesday, May 21st, 2008, the ground shook in the Middle East. Two separate and significant conflicts suddenly and simultaneously headed in the right direction – that of peace. The warring Lebanese factions meeting in Doha at last reached an agreement, after 18 months of great tension, and Israel and Syria announced the restart of formal peace talks, after 8 years of near-silence… Is there room, therefore, for optimism? Certainly there is."
Nour Chammas: "The Syrian position has been clear and consistent throughout; namely that they have adopted peace as a strategic choice and that the Golan will be returned to Syria one way or another. Syria has consistently maintained an open door for any potential negotiations over a just peaceful settlement with respect to the return of its occupied land and the preservation of its national rights."
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