At this point, there is a war of words between leaders of Syria and Israel which hopefully will not escalate into a war of fire and destruction. On one hand, the Israel Cabinet contains irrational demagogues such as Avigdor Lieberman who delight in bombast and hate while, on the other hand, President Bashar Assad insists there can be no retreat from his nation’s securing return of the Golan Heights. Syrian Minister of Information, Moshen Bilal told a seminar group his nation would stand up to any Israel threat to Lebanon, and insisted there must be return of the Golan Heights.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau, who all too often, refuses to recognize the import of his words and actions on the West Bank as they impact Palestinians, tried to calm the situation. He noted “Israel aspires to reach peace with all its neighbors” and pointed out peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. He openly stated, “we are open to new talks with Syrians as well.” Netanyahu still does not grasp the importance of an “action” on his part that can serve as a catalyst for negotiations. One such action would be a freeze on settlements in Jerusalem and on the West Bank. At this point, words simply are not enough to overcome distrust on the part of Palestinians and Syrians.