“A Peace Crime” by Levy; Will Turkey be Punished?

Swoop claims that one senior US official described the outcome of the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu as a “ritualized reversal” of his Middle East policy. The article adds: “US officials tell us privately that they are deeply pessimistic about any immediate advances in the peace process.”

Gideon Levy agrees with this assessment of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting. He writes:

If there remained any vestiges of hope in the Middle East from Barack Obama, they have dissipated; if some people still expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead a courageous move, they now know they made a mistake (and misled others ).

Gideon Levy has also written a wonderful article entitled, “A Peace Crime.” In which he explains that Assad has stated very clearly that Syria wants peace, but Israel will not say yes and test him. Why? Levy argues it is because Israel would prefer to keep the Golan. I copy the article below. The comment section is interesting because so many Israelis argue against him, calling Assad a bad person, calling Syria a bad country, claiming Israel deserves the land, arguing that it was Syria’s fault for losing it, that Israel won it fairly, that it needs it for defense, etc.

Turkey is scheduled to get a new US ambassador. This is an occasion for a good fight in the halls of the Obama administration. Ambassador Ricciardone’s name has been put forward. The neocons want to sink his nomination because they want Obama to take a hard line on Turkey and punish it for breaking with Israel. Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy explains that Obama’s people will probable waffle, as it is doing with Syria, and allow Ricciardone to languish. He writes,

the main question will be whether the Obama administration is willing to make that case and use some of its political capital to push the nomination through. They haven’t always been eager to do so, as with the nomination of Robert Ford to be ambassador to Syria. Ford is well-liked by everybody, but the administration hasn’t been active in pressing for his confirmation, potentially because it isn’t eager to have a public debate about its policy of engaging Syria — which has yet to show results.

A peace crime
What more can Assad say that he hasn’t already? How long must he knock in vain on Israel’s locked door?
By Gideon Levy

It couldn’t have been spelled out more explicitly, clearly and emphatically. Read and judge for yourselves: “Our position is clear: When Israel returns the entire Golan Heights, of course we will sign a peace agreement with it …. What’s the point of peace if the embassy is surrounded by security, if there is no trade and tourism between the two countries? That’s not peace. That’s a permanent cease-fire agreement. This is what I say to whoever comes to us to talk about the Syrian track: We are interested in a comprehensive peace, i.e., normal relations.”

Who said this to whom? Syrian President Bashar Assad to the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir last week. These astounding things were said to Arab, not Western ears, and they went virtually unnoticed here. Can you believe it?

What more can Assad say that he hasn’t already? How many more times does he have to declare his peaceful intentions before someone wakes up here? How long must he knock in vain on Israel’s locked door? And if that were not enough, he also called on Turkey to work to calm the crisis with Israel so it can mediate between Israel and Syria.

Assad’s words should have been headline news last week and in the coming weeks. Anwar Sadat said less before he came to Israel. In those days we were excited by his words, today we brazenly disregard such statements. This leads to only one conclusion: Israel does not want peace with Syria. Period. It prefers the Golan over peace with one of its biggest and most dangerous enemies. It prefers real estate, bed and breakfasts, mineral water, trendy wine and a few thousand settlers over a strategic change in its status.

Just imagine what would happen if we emerged from the ruins of our international status to sign a peace agreement with Syria – how the international climate regarding us would suddenly change, how the “axis of evil” would crack and Iran’s strongholds weaken, how Hezbollah would get a black eye, more than in all the Lebanon wars….

True, they say the Mossad chief thinks that Assad will never make peace because the whole justification for his regime is based on hostility toward Israel. Our experts are never wrong, but similar things were said about Sadat. True, Assad also said other things. Other? Not really. He said that if he does not succeed through peace, he will try to liberate the Golan through resistance. Illogical? Illegitimate? …

A responsible neighbor
First of all, by easing the blockade of Gaza after the flotilla incident, Israel admitted in retrospect that its previous policy was wrong. No international commission will justify the blockade after Netanyahu has renounced it.
By Aluf Benn, 07.07.10, Haaretz

My man of the week is Syrian President Bashar Assad. His call to calm the crisis in Israeli-Turkish relations seems like a serious attempt to cool the mutual invective between Ankara and Jerusalem. “If the relationship between Turkey and Israel is not renewed, it will be very difficult for Turkey to play a role in negotiations to revive the Middle East peace process,” Assad said on Monday in Spain. And he added that failure to mend these ties would “without doubt affect the stability in the region.”

Assad’s balanced position was a surprise. Instead of getting up and cursing Israel for its “aggression” against a Gaza-bound flotilla in May, he acted like a responsible neighbor by trying to calm the dispute. His remarks are being interpreted as a diplomatic warning to Turkey’s leaders: If you continue quarreling with Israel, you will lose your influence and encourage the extremists who undermine stability. Cool it.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, have turned out to be talented diplomats. The flotilla that set out for the Gaza Strip under their aegis resulted in the easing of Israel’s blockade on Gaza. And Davutoglu’s recent meeting with Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer did more to undermine the unity of Israel’s governing coalition than any other incident to date. Even U.S. President Barack Obama, for all his efforts, was unable to so threaten the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule….

Comments (14)

almasri said:

The Americans took Afghanistan in three days. The US commander at the time received a call from his Russian counterpart congratulating him on the remarkable success. The Russian told the US commander taking Kabul in such a short time was a great achievement for the Americans. However, the Russian cautioned from experience that there are still 40,000 caves in Afghanistan that the Americans must enter one by one before final victory can be secured. It is estimated that the Americans may have entered cave number 10,000 or so up till now. Yesterday, five US soldiers were killed. The score for this month so far is 23.

Two empires were defeated in Afghanistan in less than 100 years. By 2014 we’ll find out if the third empire will make it to the list before the 100 years are over. In the meantime, if you want to know what is going on in Kabul, you need to find out what is going on in the occupied territories.

Gideon Levy just proved a point I made recently here in comment #21


The neocons will ditch Turkey in order to force their agenda.

I also think Bashar was naive to make the statement suggesting Turkey and the AKP would be more interested in a regional role over their own interests. I wouldn’t call him man of the week just for saying that. But he could be making the statement as propaganda. The Turks probably wouldn’t even listen to it.

July 11th, 2010, 8:44 pm


Norman said:

It is very clear that what i have been saying for a long time is the only way to get our rights back , FORCE ,FORCE and long term force , we should remember , we just need perseverance and patient ,

July 11th, 2010, 9:21 pm


Husam said:

Objective # 1

Taliban seemed to have finally curtailed Opium production in back 2001, that pissed off some people…

Opium Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan
(2006 Street Value $400-500 Billion)

Year /Hectares /Production (tons)

1994 71,47 3,400

1995 53,759 2,300

1996 56,824 2,200

1997 58,416 2,800

1998 63,674 2,700

1999 90,983 4,600

2000 82,172 3,300

2001 7,606 185

2002 74,000 3400

2003 80,000 3600

2004 131,000 4200

2005 104,000 3800

2006 165,000 6100

2009 210,000** 9-10,000**

Source: United Nations,


July 11th, 2010, 11:21 pm


Husam said:

Since Objective 1 has been put on track: Poppy exports (Heroin) has increased since the invasion, we can now move to Objective 2: Steal the trillions of dollars in the bounty of minerals!

Major General Tim Haake claims that the real reason we are in Afghanistan is for Oil & Minerals, and he says that is a good thing (see clip below). In 2006, NY Times had a piece about the 1 Trillion (probably much more) of mineral deposits (story recently resurfaced).

July 11th, 2010, 11:27 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Gideon Levy is the most fringe writer in the fringe Ha’aretz.
It’s just like me quoting the most fringe opinion writer in Elaph.com, and claiming he represent the Arabs.
Come on. Who cares what Gideon Levy, the obsessed wacko thinks?

July 12th, 2010, 4:25 pm


almasri said:

My mistake. Actually, it was Josh Rogin and not Levy who proved the point and Rogin was citing facts.

Is Rogin also fringe? Are facts something(s) other than facts?

Enlighten us with the latest means on how characters can be assassinated.

July 12th, 2010, 4:43 pm


Akbar Palace said:

The Israeli Leftist Hangout of Ha’aretz

Professor Josh scours the Leftist hebrew media and finds another Israeli anti-Zionist. I’m shocked…


July 12th, 2010, 8:23 pm


Husam said:

Someone just sent me this 3 minute clip, comedian George Carlin, American Dream, so true – so funny. Enjoy!

July 12th, 2010, 8:26 pm


Norman said:

Thank you ,


It looks like Obama is moving to the campaign mode , that means no progress for two more years, what do you think?.

Only people that are willing to fight for their rights will be taken seriously,

July 12th, 2010, 9:03 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Thanks. I love George Carlin. What I like about him is that he appeals to the human condition and the difficulties we experience. He’s witty, horribly cynical, and he plays to our suspicions. A great ENTERTAINER.

BTW – After he died, I wonder what his estate was worth?

Therefore, I can’t consider a MULTI-MILLINAIRE, one of “us”;)

He’s actually a member of “the club”.

BTW – If the living in the US is actually a “bad dream”, what would you call living in Syria?

July 13th, 2010, 10:31 am


majedkhaldoun said:

A.P. said
BTW – If the living in the US is actually a “bad dream”, what would you call living in Syria?
Akpar;What would you call palastineans living in west bank occupied by Israel?

July 13th, 2010, 1:00 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

About three weeks ago a website reported that Netanyahu’s psychiatrist committed suicid one week later the psychiatrist for Ehud Barak also reportedly committed suicidde. One commentator in Europe disputed the suicide notion by implying they were both murdered.

A recent commentary in the Washington Post had the following extract

“”Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
Jerusalem is NOT ‘disputed’ territory

by Jeremy Hammond

Here’s the Washington Post on the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, emphasis added:

Ever since the administration was blindsided by Israel’s March 9 announcement that it intends to build 1,600 housing units in a disputed area of Jerusalem, U.S. officials have pressed Israel to take actions to encourage Palestinians to attend indirect talks, including canceling the project, making concrete gestures such as a prisoner release and adding substantive rather than procedural issues to the agenda for talks. Some U.S. requests have not been made public.

“Disputed”? This description implies that Israel and the Arabs both have some kind of legal claim over Jerusalem. But the fact of the matter is that Jerusalem is not by any means “disputed”. This is simply false. It is a simple and uncontroversial point of fact under international law that Israel has no legal claim to Jerusalem, that Jerusalem is rather undisputed Palestinian territory, and that Israel’s occupation of the city is illegal, in violation of both the Fourth Geneva Convention and numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Israel today controls Jerusalem because it invaded and occupied the West Bank in 1967.

July 13th, 2010, 2:06 pm


Asaad Sultan said:

The USA is unfit to be a neutral partner in the peace process process as it is called. The decision-making process in the USA is fully owned by the Zionist Lobby that run the USA’a foriegn policy and has been doing so for decades. Today, Israel is run by war criminals and doctrined by dangerous fanatic religious monesters.

The current structure of the peace process should be scrapped. United Nations, Russia, China, and Europe should step in and enforce the execution of the UN resolutions. Israel has never lived in peace since its creation and wont as long as it doesn’t recognize the rights of the people of Palestine over their holy land.

Israel is about 60 years old today which is nothing. Israel can’t get any stronger. Time is no longer on Israel side. Many Israelis know this, which is one reason why each still has a spare citizenship just in case.

October 30th, 2010, 10:24 pm


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