Tag Archives: peace talks

Israel-Syria Talks Remain Silent

The Israel government continues insisting its desire to engage in discussions with the government of Syria, and has made clear these talks could begin without any preconditions. At the same time, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon argued it was impossible to engage in discussions with Syria as long as that government maintained its ties with Iran and Hamas. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan visited Damascus in an effort to get discussions back on track and once again serve as a mediator. “We are determined to do all we can for peace in the Middle East.”

The Turkish -Israel relation is vivid proof that Jews and Muslims can work together and maintain peaceful relations. A Turkish mediation effort can serve to bring together Israel and Syria provided the Netanyahu ceases playing word games with the peace process. As Winston Churchill, the great prime minister of England often said: “Jaw, jaw, not war, war.”

Syria–Who Do We Talk With In Israel Government?

During the past half century a continual complaint on the part of Israel leaders was their inability to find anyone in an Arab government who was serious about engaging in discussions about future peace. Ironically, this complaint is now being uttered by Arab leaders about the nature of Israel’s government. Syrian leader, President Bashar Assad complained, “we cannot talk about a date (for resuming talks) because we don’t have a partner.” A major problem hindering the pursuit of peace in the Middle East is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has filled his Cabinet with Arab haters like Avigdor Lieberman and this reduces opportunities for intelligent dialogue. On one hand, Israel complains that Hamas has publicly announced its determination to wipe out Israel. Of course, on the other hand, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has made similar remarks about wiping out Arabs.

President Gul of Turkey, who regards his nation as a mediator between Israel and Syria, has noted: “Israel has to show clearly it is a partner.” He pointed out Syria wants to talk, and “we in Turkey are also ready.” So, let’s get on with talks and replace Lieberman with someone who can gain trust of Arabs.

President George Bush and the Republican Party have spent the past seven years insisting they are tough and will never deal with terrorists until every single last one is dead. Of course, this approach has created the horror of 4,200 American deaths in Iraq and the current chaos which reigns in Afghanistan. The Bush administration now finds itself in the awkward position of watching its protege, President Karzai of Afghanistan, offer to hold peace talks with Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar. What does George Bush now do? Does he forbid the government of an independent nation to engage in peace talks? All his spokesperson could say is, “what we have seen from the Taleban, however, and from Mullah Omar–who we haven’t heard from n some time–is an unwillingness to renounced violence.” Of course, since no one has talked to him in seven years, it is difficult ascertaining his current views.

President Karzai said he would “go to any length” to protect the safety of Mullah Omar if he agreed to peace talks. Regardless of what the US desires, said Karzai, “I, as president of Afghanistan, will go to any length to provide protection.”

There is scant likelihood Mullah Omar is coming to any peace discussion. His forces continually are gaining in strength so why should he abandon what he believes is a strategy of peace knowing full well, Bush would never allow him to gain power?

Israel Military Chief Urges Talks With Iran

The Bush approach to the Middle East was founded in war and lies resulting in difficulty for nations in the region to seriously engage in dealing with regional issues. Israel’s Military Intelligence chief, General Amos Yadlin, gave voice to new ideas of dealing with conflict by urging his nation to engage in talks with Iranian leaders because “dialogue is not appeasement.” He pointed out the recent drop in oil prices has been devastating to the Iranian government which depends on oil revenues to dole out money to disaffected segments of their society. Oil revenue has now dropped in half creating a serious monetary short fall which will increase anger in Iran. According to Yadlin, “Iran will do anything not to be cornered into the position of Iraq or North Korea. Iran is also very susceptible to international pressure because of the crisis”(drop in oil revenues).

The election of Barack Obama is opening new doors to conflict resolution in the region. Yadlin notes the end of the Bush regime has been greeted “with a sigh of relief in the Middle East with cautious hope for peace.” As the famous WWII British leader, Winston Churchill used to say, “jaw, jaw, not war, war.” It is time for all interested parties to come to a bargaining table prepared to bargain and compromise.

Israel Folly Continues In Palestinian Negotiations

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made clear to the world that Israel was not engaged in any discussions with Palestinian leaders about the future of Jerusalem. His comments were a sharp rebuke to statements made by the head of the American consulate in Jerusalem, Jack Walles, who was quoted by a Palestinian newspaper as saying that Israel has agreed to discuss the future status of Jerusalem during its peace talks with Palestinians. Walles told Al-Ayyam, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had told both sides her country assumed any peace discussion included Israel return to the borders of 1967 and what would be the future of Jerusalem.

The history of Israel entails repeated delay in confronting issues in hope that time is on its side. Now, is the time to discuss Jerusalem, not a year or two years from now. Delays reinforce the power of militants and make difficult efforts by moderate Palestinian leaders to construct the bridge of peace.

Syria Wants Public Talks With Israel

Future historians writing about Israel at the beginning of the 21st century will describe its inept leadership which did everything possible to move away from peace on the mistaken view only violence can end violence. Syria has conveyed a message to Israel suggesting discussons about peace but only on condition any talks will not be held under fire. By, “under fire,” they refer to the present Israel armed attacks on Palestinians. Syria insists all talks be held in public and they be preceded by an Israel statement of its willingness to withdraw from all occupied territories. Syria is also insisting Israel simultaneously hold peace discussions with Lebanon and Palestinians.

There are reports Israel has made it clear to Syria that if Hizbullah launches rocket attacks on Israel territory, the Syrians will be held responsible and must face the consequences of potential air attacks on its territory.

The Israel response to possible peace offers apparently is escalating attacks on militants. The assumption of Israel leaders is an iron fist will eventually convince Arabs they must cease creating problems. So far, there is absolutely not evidence this approach has been successful anywhere in the Middle East but Israel insists it will work. An eye for an eye eventually leaves all parties blind.

Why not ask Nelson Mandela or Kofi Annan to serve as mediators in organzing peace talks?

Iran Welcomes Dialogue On Iraq With USA

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki indicated his nation is prepared to engage in serious discussions concerning the situation in Iraq if asked by the United States. “Iran will give a positive response to the request” and hoped such talks could take place in the near future. He expressed the hope of his nation that Iraq achieve stability and security for its people. Iran continues denying it is supplying arms to insurgents in Iraq.

The United States continues insisting that Iran wants Iraq to become destabilized. The American invasion of Iraq, which led to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, was a great assistance to Iran which hated Saddam and longed for his removal from power. As the United States continues to make one blunder after another in the Middle East, Iran is the nation which stands the most to gain. Iranians and Iraqi Shiites share the same religion, they are allies in the fight against Sunnis so why should Iran want the Iraq government to collapse? It has been widely reported that neither Bush nor Cheney nor Rumsfeld had the slightest inkling about the split between Sunni and Shiite when they initiated the invasion that led to the overthrow of a Sunni led government and its replacement by a Shiite with close ties to Iran. An outside observer might conclude that George Bush is a secret agent intent on helping Iran to extend its power in the Middle East.