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.