Israel Frightened of Golan on a Platter or Without Platter



‘Talk of resuming Syria talks premature’

Talk of a resumption of Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations is “very premature considering Syrian intransigence and support for terror,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post.

Speculation was rampant in Israel after the arrival of American diplomat and Syria expert Frederick Hoff, a top advisor to American Middle East envoy George Mitchell…. Ayalon denied outright Israeli media reports that Hoff is bringing with him an early draft of an American plan for an Israel-Syria compromise on the Golan Heights.

Frederick Hoff

Frederick Hoff

Shimon Shiffer in Yedioth Ahronoth: (Via “friday-lunch-club”)

“The American administration has decided to discreetly examine ways to resume negotiations between Israel and Syria.

It was learned last night that senior American diplomat Fred Hoff, a member of the team of special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, will meet today with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and top officials in the political and security echelon. The goal is to examine the possibility of resuming the talks between Israel and Syria, closely accompanied by the US.

Hoff will continue from here to Damascus, to talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad and with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. As of now, the Israeli side is sticking to the position whereby the talks with Syria can resume, but without preconditions. According to this position, the Syrians will be able to demand the return of the Golan Heights, while Israel will make it clear that it demands to remain on the Golan Heights in any arrangement.

That said, the Israeli intelligence community advocates resuming the negotiations with Syria and an agreement that entails the return of the Golan Heights with it being demilitarized on both sides of the border, in return for Damascus cutting its alliance with Iran.

Orly Azulai of Yedioth Ahronoth reports that Fred Hoff has already written a proposal for an Israeli-Syrian agreement:

The American administration has already begun to draw up a plan for a peace agreement between Israel and Syria. It is based on a detailed document written by Dr. Fred Hoff, a member of George Mitchell’s team, who will arrive today for talks in Israel.

Hoff recently completed writing the document that forms the initial draft for a peace agreement between Israel and Syria. Mitchell adopted this document as the basis for the peace between Israel and Syria.

The document suggests solutions to the complicated problems that are the bone of contention between Israel and Syria, and even suggests a route for the border line between the two countries that the American administration is already calling the “Hoff line.” Hoff suggests that the peace process between Israel and Syria take place in two stages: in the first stage the sides would build trust by sharing parks, nature reserves and water sources on the Golan Heights. He says that this way the two peoples will learn to live together and could bring down the walls of suspicion. In the second stage, he proposes, Israel would withdraw from the Golan to the line that he suggests.

He does not say how much time should elapse between the normalizationagreement and shared use of these reserves to the beginning of the withdrawal. However, based on sources close to Mitchell, this would be aprocess that would last for several years. Hoff’s proposal provides for a solution in which there are only winners for a problem that for years was considered a zero sum dynamic, says Scott Lasensky.”

Water for Peace
July 13, 2009,
Op-Ed Contributor, NY Times

LONDON — Just days after the death of his father, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was asked to rank the issues of dispute between Syria and Israel. “Israel ranks her priorities in the following way: security, land and water,” he said. “But the truth is different. They consider water to be the most important.” He added, “Discussing this matter now is premature and its turn will come only after the land issue is discussed.”

Nine years later, the land issue remains frozen. The issue of water, however, has taken a dire turn. After a five-year drought, the region is headed toward a water calamity that could overwhelm all efforts at peace.

The Jordan River now has large sections reduced to a trickle. The Sea of Galilee is at its lowest point ever. The surface area of the Dead Sea has shrunk by a third. Iraq’s ancient marshes are now marked by large swaths of stalks and caked mud.

In northern Syria, more than 160 villages the past two years have run dry and been deserted by residents. In Gaza, 150,000 Palestinians have no access to tap water. In Israel, the pumps at the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), its largest reservoir, were exposed above the water level, rendering pumping impossible. In Lebanon, 70 percent of wastewater is dumped into cesspools, polluting groundwater; Jordan is struggling with just 10 percent of its average rainfall.

Little wonder that many warn that future wars will be fought over water, not land.

But can crisis be turned into opportunity? Could water, rather than land, be the way to cooperation and peace in the Middle East?

“We are great believers in the water issue as a catalyst for regional peace,” says Gilead Sher, Israel’s chief negotiator at the Camp David summit and the Taba peace talks in 1999-2001. “In all previous rounds of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the water section has been very close to concluding between the sides within the agreement framework.”

Others, like Jordanian Munqeth Mehyar, Palestinian Nader Al-Khateeb, and Israeli Gidon Bromberg, believe water provides new avenues for dialogue. Together, the three run EcoPeace, an organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists to promote sustainable development and build “Good Water Neighbors” in the Middle East.

Syria itself is also taking a leadership role. Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri met recently with Iraqi Minister of Electricity Wahid Kareem in Damascus to discuss water resources. This came on the heels of a recent meeting in Baghdad of the energy ministers of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria to discuss energy and security, which led to talk of a regional compact — a “new Baghdad Pact, without the U.S.,” as Zaab Sethna calls it. Sethna, co-founder of Northern Gulf Partners, working to bring investment to Baghdad, adds: “Water would be a natural area for cooperation.”

It is time to make peace on behalf of water.

First, the U.S. should work with Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Syria to convene a conference — in Istanbul. “The best way to resolve the water shortage is to bring water from super-abundant sources in the north — that is, Turkey,” says the Israeli scholar Bernard Avishai.

The carrier would have to run through Syria and possibly Lebanon. Turkey has offered to lead such efforts in the past — most recently proposing a “water plan for peace,” using water from the Manavgat River to aid its neighbors.

Second, the United States must persuade Israel to share its water expertise and technology with its Arab neighbors. Water, rather than land, could form the basis of an agreement between Israel and Syria, revolving in part around the disputed Golan Heights, the source of more than 55 percent of Israel’s fresh water.

The U.S. should also broker a new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to replace the failed Joint Water Committee. The agreement should make each side a partner in both supply and management. Without it, Gaza will run dry, and pollution from the Strip will continue to threaten Israeli water reserves.

Third, the U.N. should mobilize a global effort to find cheaper, more environmentally friendly ways to convert seawater into drinking water. While widely practiced in Israel and Gulf states, desalination costs three times what it costs to tap traditional sources, and can use 10 times the energy. At its climate change conference in Copenhagen this December, the U.N. should launch a campaign to build public-private partnerships to turn the promise of desalination into a more tenable solution.

It has been said that if Israel were on fire, its Arab neighbors would not supply the water to put the fire out — and vice-versa. But when it comes to water, every nation is in the same boat.

Stanley A. Weiss is the founding chairman of Business Executives for National Security.

Iraq lashed by sandstorms and battling drought
The Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — Below-average rainfall and insufficient water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have left Iraq bone dry for a second straight year, wrecking swaths of farm land, threatening drinking water supplies and intensifying fierce sandstorms that have coated the country in brown dust.

The drought has dealt a harsh blow to hopes that reductions in sectarian violence over the last year would fuel an economic recovery. Instead, the government’s budget suffered a double-hit: Lower than expected oil prices have crimped revenues and the scarcity of water will force Iraq to spend money to import most of the crops, especially wheat and rice, to meet domestic demand.

“Look at this land. There is no water,” said Ashur Mohamed Ahmood, slipping the tip of his black cane into deep cracks in his parched field. He cautioned children not to run, fearing their small bare feet would get stuck in the crevices crisscrossing the farm on the outskirts of Baghdad.

“Without water there are no plants. This is the plant,” he says, uprooting a weed and throwing it back to the ground…..

Comments (18)

Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh,

Another “platter” theme? Boy this day dream about getting the Golan for free seems to be weighing heavy on your mind.

Now here’s the type of platter that I dream of:;)

July 13th, 2009, 8:21 pm


Sasa said:

Yes Akbar, the Golan will be free. Thieves can’t set the price of stolen goods to sell back to their owner.

July 13th, 2009, 8:57 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Thieves can’t set the price of stolen goods to sell back to their owner.


“Stolen”? I thought Syria gave the Golan to Israel as a prize for absorbing Syrian gunfire.

Anyway, Israel will probably return it “free of charge” depending on the conditions and the wording of the peace agreement.

July 13th, 2009, 9:19 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh,

Perhaps you could add this article along with the long list of anti-Israel articles. You know, for balance. Isn’t that what peace is all about?,7340,L-3746081,00.html

July 14th, 2009, 11:26 am


norman said:

this is interesting to my secular friends ,

Syrian secularism under fire
By Sami Moubayed

DAMASCUS – “Secularism in the Arab world” sounds out of place, almost as abstract as saying “Sex in Disneyland”. There are a few prominent Arab seculars, such as Egyptian scholar Nawal al-Saadawi, Syrian scholar Sadeq Jalal al-Azem and ex-Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi. They are a small minority in a region plagued by sectarianism and fanatics.

Many historians link secularism in the Arab world to Napoleon’s 1798 invasion of Egypt, when the Egyptian elite was strongly exposed to a secular world, through interaction with French scholars, scientists and military personnel. That statement, however, is somewhat incorrect, since 11th- and 12th-century philosophers of the Muslim world spoke of secular values – without

using the word “secularism” – long before Napoleon’s men marched into the East.

Then came European colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, which brought along a new term for the Arab East, like “secular nationalism”, which, ironically, was used to combat the British and the French.

For years, the three strongholds of contemporary Arab secularism have been Egypt, after the revolution of 1952; Iraq, after the army came to power in 1958; and Syria under Ba’ath Party rule since 1963. In Egypt, seculars received the upper hand under former president Gamal Abdul Nasser, especially when he cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s, and drew a clear line between mosque and state, making any challenge of that new order a capital offense punishable by death.

Egyptian secularism began to erode – fast – when political Islam skyrocketed in popularity, as a direct result of the Camp David Accords of 1978. By then, Nasser was dead and his successor Anwar Sadat was simply unable to combat the Islamic giant on the streets of Cairo, accusing him of selling out to the United States and Israel. Political Islam was further empowered, at the expense of secularism, by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when the Jimmy Carter administration in the United States decided to train Arab jihadis and ship them to Kabul to combat the Russians.

Secularism suffered another heavy blow, climaxing with the assassination of Sadat, at the hands of Islamic fanatics, in 1981. Since then, political Islam has constantly been on the rise in Egypt, despite – and perhaps because – the Egyptian state has been arresting and silencing Islamic leaders almost daily for the past 30 years. The more they were persecuted, the more the Islamists turned into the Islamic underground, creating a clear divide between “seculars” and “Islamists” that continues to rock Egyptian society.

The situation in Iraq is similar, where secularism was enforced – by brute force – during the long years of Saddam Hussein. Because of the delicate sectarian scene in Iraq, Sunnis and Shi’ites were forced to live together, steering clear from any political Islamic tendencies. Parties that had an Islamic agenda, like al-Da’wa, which was created in the 1960s, were heavily suppressed by consecutive military regimes, which, based on the Nasserist model in Cairo, preached a strong brand of Iraqi secularism.

Ironically, the United States butchered Iraqi secularism when it toppled Saddam in 2003, opening the door wide for Islamic parties to surface and rule, and they currently stand as masters of modern Iraq. Allawi is a noticeable exception to post-2003 Iraq, since he is one of the few who remains committed to a secular Iraq, driven by patriotism rather than religion. Apart from him, all post-2003 politicians, like Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Ibrahim Jaafary, Tarek Hashemi and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are religiously driven and sectarian to the bone.

With both Egypt and Iraq clearly out of the secular family, this leaves Syria as the only remaining secular state in today’s Arab world. Syria was once very secular, from the immediate post-Ottoman era until the 1980s. Its secular thought was first promoted by a scholar named Sati al-Husari and a nationalist leader, Abdul Rahman Shahbandar, who, in turn, were both influenced by French and German secularism.

They preached modern secularism, wrote prolifically on the subject and Shahbandar was eventually gunned down for his views, in 1941, by a group of Syrian fanatics. Apart from these two men, Syrian leaders from the 1920s onwards were not secular by definition, but they differentiated between Islam as a way of life and a political system.

The head of the Islamic bloc in parliament, Shaikh Abdul Hamid Tabba, firmly believed in Islam, but he strongly endorsed Faris al-Khury (a Protestant) as prime minister in 1943, although his appointment meant that a Christian would now control the Office of Religious Endowments (Awqaf) in Syria.

President Hashim al-Atasi, for example, was a pious Muslim and the son of a Mufti, who used to wake up for morning prayer and go to the Muhajirin mosque during office hours to pray. The point is: he never prayed at the Presidential Palace. He appointed Faris al-Khury as prime minister in the 1950s and during his era a proposal was debated in parliament to abolish an article specifying Islam as the religion of the state.

It never passed, but the very fact that it was raised in 1950 speaks volumes about Islam, secularism and Syria. The Syrians were secular without really knowing that the term seemed built into their system. The strong shift towards Islam resulted from the clash between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government in 1982, and has been snowballing ever since, despite government attempts at upholding secularism, yet walking a tight rope, by the promotion of moderate Islam.

The continued occupation of Palestine, the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq all contributed to a grassroots conviction that when all else fails, Islam is the solution to Arab woes. Hamas, preaching political Islam, seemed to be winning in Palestine, and so was Hezbollah in Lebanon. Meaning, political Islam, rather than secularism, was a direct result of the helplessness in Syrian and Arab society, and a feeling that political Islam pays, and pays well.

In today’s word, the strongest advocates for a secular Syria are ironically, moderate clerics like the dean of the Faculty of Theology Said Ramadan al-Bouti, and the Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun, who roams the Muslim world calling for a clear separation between mosque and state.

Obstructing the efforts of these open-minded moderate clerics are fundamentalists like al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, who believe in radical and violent political Islam and call for theocratic governments in the Arab world. Supporting this line of thought are Syrians involved with international terrorism and al-Qaeda. Although they don’t live in Syria, they have connections in Syria and have been used, over and over since 2003, to spread havoc in Syria.

These groups tried to pull off terrorist attacks at the US Embassy in Damascus, at the headquarters of Syrian TV in the heart of Damascus, at the Damascus Palace of Justice and in the posh Mezzeh residential neighborhood in 2004, when they attacked an abandoned United Nations building. Last September, these fanatics struck in the heart of the Syrian capital, on the road leading to Damascus International Airport, killing 41 civilians.

This was a strong warning that although the Syrian government and educated elite were secular, many in the neighborhood (especially in Lebanon and Iraq) were not, and they were spreading their views, right into the Syrian heartland.

The list of Syrian enemies of secularism is long, and includes the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian-born Shaker al-Absi (architect of the September attack, which the Syrians called Black Saturday), Abu Musaab al-Souri, who was accused of the horrific March 2004 Madrid bombings, and Imad Yarkas, the terrorist behind bars in Spain for his role in the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.

On the other side of the struggle stand seculars who believe in moderate Islam and who are loud opponents of Islamic terrorism, like President Bashar al-Assad, his media advisor Buthaina Shaaban, a scholar in her own right, Syria’s ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha, and Syria’s current Health Minister Rida Said, who tried with a group of Syrian intellectuals to create a non-governmental organization promoting secularism in Syria, in 2006. Involved in the project were surgeon Samer Lathkani, writer Wael Sawwah and attorney Hind Kabawat.

The battle to preserve secularism and tolerance in Syria is still ongoing, with enlightened Syrians on one front, and radicals like the Brotherhood, on the other. Syrian seculars, theoretically, have plenty of friends in Washington, Paris and London, who realize what kind of a mess has been created in Iraq and Egypt because of the retreat of Arabic secularism.

A non-secular Syria would be catastrophic to world powers and to Middle East peace. With Iraq down and Egypt hovering, Syria is the last champion of a secularism that is in-born, rather than parachuted onto Arab society. If promoted, it could become contagious.

Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst.

(Copyright 2009 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

July 14th, 2009, 12:36 pm


jad said:

Hi Norman,
Thank you for the article, I agree with Mr. Moubayed, and I think that secularism is loosing ground and the government is as responsible for that as anybody else.
Please read this article that has similar warning bell:

هل مازالت الرصاصة في جيب رئيس الوزراء السوري ناجي العطري ..؟

خولة غازي – كلنا شركاء
14/ 07/ 2009
على غرار الفيلم العربي الشهير الرصاص مازالت في جيبي ، تأخذ حكومتنا هذا العنوان بجدارة فائقة ، وخاصة رئيس حكومتها ، التي يشهد له جميع من يعرفه بباله وصبره ، لدرجة اننا لانشعر بوجوده ، يتم تغيير وزراء حكومته وهو جالس صامد ابد الابدين ، لا يمكن للمواطن السوري ولا لمواطني الدول المجاورة أن يسمعوا شخير حكومته ، التي يتم تجديد شبابها عبر حقن البوتكس ، كل ستة أشهر من خلال وزير أو وزيرين ..

ولكن وبدون أن يدري العطري وحكومته العتيدة ومن ورائهم : باتت تنمو حكومات اخرى تسيطر على الشارع السوري .

هناك حكومة للبلطجية وقطاع الطرق و حكومة لمحدثي النعمة وسارقي القطاع العام ، وحكومة لرجال الدين .. فهؤلاء يؤثرون بالشارع أكثر من أي بيان يتلوه أحدث أو أقدم وزير في الحكومة .

فالشباب والذين يمثلون فئة كبيرة من المجتمع يتلقون ثقافتهم من دور العبادة ، و من الشارع ، و من الاقراص المدمجة المنتشرة على (البسطات ) في شوارع العاصمة والمدن الاخرى ، من ثقافة الملل وتقطيع الوقت على شبكة الانترنيت .. في ظل تراخ فاضح لدور المؤسسات الاجتماعية والمؤسسات التي تعنى بالشباب .

نسمع بين الحين والأخر عن ندوات ومؤتمرات ومشاريع للشباب ، ولكن لمن … ومن هو المتلقي .. وما هو تأثيرهم بالمجتمع .

هناك آلاف الشباب في المناطق العشوائية داخل العاصمة والمدن الكبيرة والأرياف النائية يعيشون في بطالة قاتلة ، لذا لن تجد شاباً أو اثنين في زواريب العتمة يتناولون الحبوب المخدرة بل العشرات ، وما يتم ضبطه من قبل الجمارك من الحبوب المخدرة يدل بشكل واضح على تناميها وزيادة متعاطيها .ناهيك عن الدعارة التي باتت منظمة لا وبل يقومون بتصدير السوريات للخارج .

إن البشع والمخيف في سوريا الآن هم حكومات الظل التي تتحكم بالداخل ، وهم ليسوا ببعيدين عن رجال السلطة ، لا بل تربوا في أحضانهم وتحت عبائتهم …

يظن العطري وحكومته العتيدة أن رصاصة القضاء على الفساد لاصلاح البلد لازالت في جيبهم ، ولكن ما لايعرفه أن جيبه مثقوب ، ولم يعد في جيبه إلا الثقب ، فهناك من تناول الرصاصة ويلعب بها الان … ويضعها في جيبه إلا أن تثقب وتذهب إلى أخر … هذه هي سوريا الآن .

خولة غازي – كلنا شركاء

July 14th, 2009, 2:56 pm


norman said:

from the July 14, 2009 edition –
In Israel, US envoy maps peace with Syria

Frederic C. Hof, author of a March report suggesting an environmental preserve and other initiatives in the disputed Golan Heights, is meeting with Israeli officials.
By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The arrival in Jerusalem of a US diplomat with a longstanding interest in bringing about Israeli-Syrian peace is fueling speculation that the Obama administration is trying to relaunch negotiations between Jerusalem and Damascus.

Frederic C. Hof, a conflict resolution expert and senior adviser to US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, arrived in Israel Sunday. He will remain through Wednesday, and is meeting with a variety of Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak and senior military officers, before continuing to Damascus for talks.

Yediot Aharonoth, Israel’s largest circulation newspaper, reports that Mr. Hof is in the process of presenting the draft of a plan for Israeli-Syrian peace that would find solutions to the two countries’ dispute over the Golan Heights, a territory Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed. While Israeli officials have declined to comment on whether such a plan is being floated, Mr. Hof’s vision was outlined in part in March when he published a report, “Mapping Peace Between Syria and Israel,” with the United States Institute for Peace in Washington. (Click here for the full report in pdf format.)

An American embassy official in Tel Aviv confirmed that Hof was here exploring peace concepts with various officials in the region.

The status of the Golan Heights is the main obstacle to Israeli-Syrian peace, which various efforts have failed to secure in recent years. In 2008, Israel and Syria conducted back-channel discussions facilitated by Turkey, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad suspended the talks in protest over the January war in Gaza.

However, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who left office in late January, was optimistic that the talks would resume and eventually produce an accord.

“We started negotiations with Syria and… at the end of the day, we will be able to reach an agreement that will end the conflict between us and the Syrians,” he said in a speech.

Hof envisions environmental preserve in Golan Heights

A key facet of the deal would involve shared water resources and the creation of a Jordan Valley-Golan Heights Environmental Preserve. While Israeli settlements would be dismantled, the plan envisions both Israelis and Syrians having free access to the territory for the purposes of tourism, among other things.

“In addition to mitigating Israeli concerns about the return of sensitive territories and providing a venue for informal people-to-people contacts, the Jordan Valley-Golan Heights Environmental Preserve approach would give the parties a good platform for practical bilateral cooperation even as the ink on a peace treaty is drying, allowing for a constructive, confidence-building start to the implementation phase of the withdrawal process,” the report says, according to the USIP’s website.

Israelis dampen expectations

Israeli officials have tried to downplay expectations over Hof’s visit, noting that a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not on the schedule. Officials in Mr. Netanyahu’s office have indicated that the emphasis should continue to be placed on reaching a two-state with the Palestinians.

Uzi Arad, Netanyhau’s national security adviser, said in a weekend interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz that Israel would not consider any peace deal that would prevent it from staying “deep into the Golan Heights,” a definition sure to be off-putting to Syrian negotiators.

“The Syrians are certainly aware that the Netanyahu government and the majority of the public will not leave the Golan Heights,” Dr. Arad said in the interview.

There are more than two dozen Israeli settlements in the area, with 9,000 settlers living there.

Israeli spokesman: It’s Syria that’s stalling talks

A spokesman for Netanyahu says that Syria should not expect Israel to agree to preconditions – such as recognizing verbal agreements that are said to have been made by the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in the 1990s. Israel, in return, would be ready to talk to Syria, despite its disinclination to do so, given support in Damascus for Hamas and Hizbullah.

“We are ready for negotiations with the Syrians without preconditions, but it’s the Syrians who are putting all sorts of preconditions on the talks that prevent them from happening,” says Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu. “They’re actively supporting both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, not just political support but very tangible support. If we wanted to say no talks until that stops, we could.”

The Obama administration decided in June to send an ambassador to Damascus, ending a four-year hiatus in diplomatic ties.

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July 14th, 2009, 6:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Today’s Question:

Should Israel make peace with an anti-democratic authoritarian regime?

Think hard.

July 14th, 2009, 6:49 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Ghat Albird,

Thanks for side-stepping the question. It’s easier.

July 14th, 2009, 7:47 pm


Ghat Albird said:

Am following Rule #12 of The Israeli Project Manual leaked by Newsweek.

To wit: 12) No matter what you are asked a question, you don’t have to answer it directly. You are in control of what you say and how you say it.

July 14th, 2009, 8:43 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Ghat Albird,

Since when did you find it necessary to use evil Zionist propaganda to answer/not answer questions?

Isn’t the Arab argument strong enough for you to use your own words?

My question still stands. How will Assad be viewed differently than Mubarak if he makes peace with Israel? Aren’t they 2 faces of the same coin?

July 14th, 2009, 9:01 pm


Ghat Albird said:

Since when did you consider answering a question with a question as the use of “evil zionist propaganda” ?

According to Rule 10 of The Israel Project Manual: The language of Israel is the language of America: ie:- “democracy,” “freedom,” “security,” “peace,” “Syria bad”,
“Israel good”.

Are you implying that the language of America is “evil Zionist propaganda”?

By the bye speaking of 2 faces of the same coin. Whats the differnce between
Avigdor and Livni?

July 14th, 2009, 10:22 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Are you implying that the language of America is “evil Zionist propaganda”?

Ghat Albird,

No not at all. I used the term “evil Zionist propaganda” tongue in cheek because Professor Josh linked to it in an article and presented it as some sort of “secret manual”. Also your many references to this manual suggest to me you find it “disturbing”.

In any case, I am answering all of your questions freely and without reservation or sarcasm. So why don’t you answer my question? Surely it wasn’t that difficult:

How will Assad be viewed differently than Mubarak if he makes peace with Israel? Aren’t they 2 faces of the same coin?

By the bye speaking of 2 faces of the same coin. Whats the differnce between Avigdor and Livni?

Ghat Albird,

None. Both of these politicians govern and defend a majority Jewish State where all its citizens are free to worship as they choose, vote for who they choose, and say whatever is on their mind. Not too shabby*.

*the secret manual was not employed while writing this response — AP

July 15th, 2009, 12:23 am


Akbar Palace said:

Looks like the KSA is making some startling in-roads within the medical field with this possible cure for cancer:

July 15th, 2009, 12:37 am


Nour said:

بيان الشعبة السياسية في الشام في 13 تموز 2009

الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي

الشعبة السياسية في الشام

عقدت الشعبة السياسية في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي في الشام، برئاسة الرفيق عبد القادر العبيد، جلستها الدورية الأولى لشهر تموز 2009، شهر الثورة القومية الاجتماعية التي أعلنها سعاده في تموز 1949، وقدّم دمه فداءًا لها، ودفاعًا عن عقيدته.

وأكدت الشعبة السياسية على راهنية أهداف الثورة القومية، الواردة في بيانها الأول الصادر عن مقرّ قيادة الثورة القومية الاجتماعية العليا في 4 تموز 1949، وحاجة معظم كيانات الأمّة السياسية لتلك الأهداف، ومنها:

ـ أن يكون دستور البلاد منبثقًا من إرادة الشعب بما يضمن وحدة المجتمع والمساواة في الحقوق المدنية والسياسية لأبناء الشعب، ويجعل المصلحة القومية أساسًا للتمثيل السياسي، لا المصالح الفردية والطائفية أو العشائرية أو الخصوصية الضيقة.

ـ إن الاصلاح السياسي هو المفتاح الحقيقي لكل إصلاح في المجتمع، سواء أكان اقتصاديًا أم إداريًا أم اجتماعيًا… ويتحقّق ذلك عبر تطبيق المبادئ الإصلاحية للحركة القومية الاجتماعية، والمتمثّلة في:

فصل الدين عن الدولة. ومنع رجال الدين من التدخل في شؤون السياسة والقضاء القوميين. وإزالة الحواجز بين مختلف الطوائف والمذاهب في الاجتماع والثقافة. وتنظيم الاقتصاد القومي على أساس الإنتاج، وإنصاف العمل، وصيانة مصلحة الأمة والدولة. وإنشاء جيش قوي، يكون ذا قيمة فعلية في تقرير مصير الأمة والوطن.
تطهير إدارات الدولة من حالات الرشوة والفساد والإفساد والتحكّم الفردي.
التخطيط لسياسة اقتصادية قومية، ترتكز على تحقيق الوحدة الاقتصادية في البلاد السورية، الكفيلة بقيام نهضة صناعية ـ زراعية ـ على أسس علمية.
القضاء على الاحتكار والطغيان الرأسماليين، لإزالته عن العمال والفلاحين والمزارعين.
إعادة جميع المواطنين الذين فقدوا عملهم بسبب الاعتقال السياسي إلى مراكز عملهم، والتعويض على المتضرِّرين منهم.
إلغاء جميع الأحكام والقوانين المعطِّلة للحقوق المدنية والسياسية.

وتابعت الشعبة بحث الأمور الواردة على جدول أعمالها:

ففي الشأن الاجتماعي والسياسي “توقفت” الشعبة عند الطريقة التي تعاطت بها بعض الجهات الرسمية، مع مسوَّدة مشروع القانون الجديد للأحوال الشخصية في سورية، وذلك كما نقلته وسائل الإعلام، والتي بقي موقفها ملتبسًا يشوبه الغموض، مما أدّى إلى البلبلة التي شهدتها الأوساط المهتمة بالشأن العام. كما يلاحظ تخلي أحزاب السلطة (أحزاب الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية) عن مسؤوليتها، حيث بقيت صامتة، اللهم إلا من بعض أصوات مثقفي هذه الأحزاب.

وتوجهت الشعبة السياسية بالشكر، لمسؤولي المواقع الإلكترونية الذين انتهجوا نهجًا جريئًا وحازمًا من مسوَّدة مشروع قانون الأحوال الشخصية في سورية، والتي تحوّلت إلى منابر لكل المثقفين والمختصين والمهتمين، وعلى سبيل المثال “موقع أوروك الجديدة” و”مرصد نساء سورية” و”كلنا شركاء” و”سورية الغد” و”شفاف الشام” و”ألف تودي” و”سيريا نيوز” و”موقع جبلة”، وبعض المنتديات كمنتدى “قرية زيدل”، مع الإعتذار من مسؤولي المواقع الإلكترونية التي لم يَرِدْ اسم لها هنا.

ومن الأمور التي تم بحثها بشكل معمَّق هو إعلان وزارة الصحّة في الشام، عن تخفيض بعض أسعار الأدوية بنسبة 20 %. وتطالب الشعبة السياسية الحكومة الشامية، بأن يشمل هذا التخفيض جميع أصناف الأدوية، وكافة أسعار المواد الاستهلاكية، وحوامل الطاقة، فذلك أفضل من الوعد بزيادة الرواتب والأجور، التي يبشِّر بها أقطاب الحكومة الشامية؛ تلك الزيادة التي عودتنا على آثارها التضخمية، وانخفاض القوة الشرائية، وعدم القدرة على ضبط أسعار السوق.

وطالبت الشعبة السياسية الوزارة المختصّة في الحكومة الشامية، بضرورة إصدار المخطّطات التنظيمية للمدن والمناطق. هذه المخطّطات التي لازالت محفوظة ومنذ سنوات طويلة، في أدراج الجهات المختصّة، والتي ينتج عن تأخّر صدورها أن تحوِّل ما يقارب الـ 70 % من مدن الجمهورية السورية إلى مخالفات سكن عشوائي شملت حتى المساحات المخصّصة لتوسّع المدن. أدّت هذه المخالفات إلى حالة عدم الاستقرار الاجتماعي، لمعظم ساكني تلك المناطق.

وأشارت الشعبة السياسية إلى أن المؤسف أكثر، هو عدم وجود خطّة لتأمين مسكن صحي ونظامي للشريحة الواسعة من أبناء الشعب، وفق ما نصّ عليه دستور البلاد.

مكتب الشعبة في 2009/07/13 ناموس الشعبة السياسية

الرفيق عصام عـزوز

July 15th, 2009, 2:59 am


A Syrian said:


Do you get paid for writing comments on this blog?


How can you tell if the same person is answering the poll more than once? I suppose there is a control by the IP address.

July 15th, 2009, 3:48 am


Akbar Palace said:

A Syrian,

No. But I should!

July 15th, 2009, 11:10 am


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