Thursday, April 24, 2008

Will Israel Give The Golan Heights Back to Syria?

I was reading the online edition of The Jerusalem Post where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has confirmed reports that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is offering to return the Golan Heights to Syria. Evidently, Olmert and Assad have been exchanging messages through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan since the end of the Israel-Hezbollah War in 2006. In exchange for the Golan Heights, Israel wants Syria ending its support for Hamas and Hezbollah, kicking Jimmy Carter's new friend Khaled Meshaal out of Damascus and distancing themselves from Iran. Assad is about as likely to meet those conditions as Robert Mugabe voluntarily relinquishing power. Let's remember it was only last fall that Israel took out a Syrian nuclear reactor (on which they apparently had a lot of assistance from North Korea). It would not surprise me in the least if Olmert agrees to surrender the Golan Heights for a lot less. If Israel were to surrender the Golan Heights and reach an agreement on an independent Palestinian state this would meet the conditions set out by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States concerning recognition of Israel. It would be interesting to see if the Saudis and the Arab League back their word or simply make more demands for Israel to give up more land. Of course, it's possible the Saudis and others would recognize Israel and then make more demands for Israel to give up more land.

No comments: