Throughout its history, leaders of Israel complained they were unable to engage in meaningful dialogue and negotiations with Arabs because none of these nations would acknowledge the existence of their country. A continual Israel problem was refusal on the part of Arab leaders to respect international law by resorting to violence against innocent civilians. Today, the exact same complaints made by Israel towards Arabs is being directed back to the Israel government. Ironically, the American government this week announced it was returning diplomats to Damascus in recognition of President Assad’s commitment to working for peace with Israel and fighting terrorism. He reportedly has agreed to clamp down on terrorists going through his nation on their way to Iraq.
President Assad’s comments this week could readily have been uttered by Golda Meier forty years ago. He said: “achieving peace requires an Israeli partner and commitment to international law. The Israeli partner does not currently exist.”
The Israel press contains right wingers who complain their government wants peace but they have no one to negotiate with for peace. Of course, the reason is simple– Netanyahu refuses to halt West Bank settlements and he imposes conditions that President Abbas must accept while insisting no one has the right to impose conditions on Israel.
David Ben-Gurion is turning over in his grave every time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks.
In the topsy turvy world of Israel politics it is doubtful that a new Israel government would be ready to respond to the new Syrian desire for negotiation about issues of concern between the nations. Over the past decades Israel government after government argued there was no desire on the part of Arab nations for peace, but today, the Arab League has come out for peace based on the 1967 borders and Syrian President Bashar Assad said he was ready to negotiate with any Israel government. “One is bad, the other is awful” and admitted his government would simply ignore the ideology of Israel politics and instead focus on how to reach peace with that nation. Assad said peace with Israel was very possible but normal relations would depend on establishing peaceful relations between Israel and a Palestinian government.
There is simply too much irony in the current situation in which Israel leaders now behave in the same manner they complained Arab leaders were acting twenty years ago. How ironic that Israel now has Arab nations prepared to negotiate for everything it wanted twenty years ago, but the entire process is hampered by decisions on the West Bank and in east Jerusalem. Is it possible for the people of Israel to regain their common sense and a realistic view of life in the Middle East?