web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Israel Should Offer Syria Nothing

     Just when it looked like Ehud Olmert could not mess things up any worse than he already had, it was reported that he and his mates had been secretly negotiating a deal with Syria. Allegedly, Israel would reward Syria for 70 years of aggression by basically shrinking itself to its pre-1967 dimensions and returning to what Abba Eban once dubbed “Auschwitz borders.”
 
      Under the proposed deal, Israel would abandon the entire Golan Heights, which would be turned into a large “park” under joint Israeli-Syrian management. Israel and Syria would then demilitarize areas on both sides of this nice park, with the Syrian side’s demobilized zone larger than Israel’s. Israel would get a nice written set of promises from Syria – one of those being to rein in Hizbullah.
 
      The Syrian state-controlled TV and newspapers are already repudiating and denying the deal. Syrian intransigence may yet save the Jewish people from the mega-stupidity of Israeli political leaders, and not for the first time: a deal for a “return” of the Golan Heights to Syria was almost signed by Ehud Barak in 2000. Had it been concluded, it would have moved Syrian armed forces right up to the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
 
      The Golan Heights are Syrian in precisely the same sense that East Prussia is German. In other words, not at all. Just like East Prussia was once German but was lost forever to the Germans due to German aggression and atrocities, so the Golan Heights are “Syrian” only in the historic sense.
 
      The Golan is certainly far less “Syrian” than the Alexandretta Province, which belonged to Syria before World War II until Turkey decided one day to gobble it up. Syrian maps, of course, show both the Golan and Alexandretta as integral parts of Syria. Today the optimal peace plan that Israel should adopt is the same as that still used successfully by Turkey regarding Alexandretta: every time Syria starts bellowing and threatening, rattle the sabers and watch the Baathists cower.
 
      The Golan Heights are not good for much besides attacking Israel. In fact, that is the real reason why Assad Jr. wants to get them back. Israeli proponents of “returning” the Golan to Syria argue that the Camp David accord with Egypt is a clear precedent for such a deal. After all, Israel agreed to give back to Egypt every last centimeter of Sinai. But the deal with Egypt was (or should be) a “first through the gate” one-time deal that in no way obligates Israel to strike a similar deal with Syria.
 
      Camp David was signed almost 30 years ago, and only after Anwar Sadat came to Jerusalem and spoke in a convincing way to the Israeli public about peace. Assad Senior could have followed in Sadat’s footsteps in the late 1970′s and signed a peace deal with Israel, but he refused. Syria should be made to pay for three decades of foot dragging. It should also be forced to pay for its role in Hizbullah terror.
 
      In other words, “land for peace” should decidedly not be the basis for any deal with Syria, unless it is to be land for peace in the form of Syria offering Israel additional lands east of the Golan.
 
      The other important difference between Egypt and Syria is that Egypt is a large and powerful country, one with which Israel was willing to pay a huge price to end the outright state of war. But Syria, which already has partly lost its hegemony over Lebanon, is a relatively small, backward, poor country surrounded on all its borders (besides Lebanon) by pro-Western regimes friendly to the U.S.
 
      There is no reason to believe Syria would comply with any deal it strikes with Israel. First, the Baathist junta represents a tiny ethnic-religious minority that could easily be toppled and replaced. The younger Assad is a dimwitted leader whose chances of ending up on a gallows like Saddam are not bad. Rather than reward the unstable Assad regime with the Golan Heights, a far better strategy would be to sit back and watch as Syria’s economy collapses under its own centrally-controlled deadweight, the same way that Soviet regimes collapsed one after the other in the early 1990′s.
 
      All that Israel would get out of any deal with the Syrians would be yet another set of empty promises. Syria would follow up any agreement with a massive escalation of violence against Israel from Lebanon via its terrorist surrogates there. It would ignore all obligations for disarmament, in a Ruhr-Valley-style strategy of defiance.
 
      In addition, Syria would use its presence along the shores of the Sea of Galilee to recruit and arm terrorists from among Israeli Arabs in the Galilee. It would station missiles and arms it receives from Iran on its soil, perhaps also weapons of mass destruction. The missile barrages this past summer on Northern Israel were a pale preview of what would follow.
 
      Even the peace deal with Egypt has been to a large extent a failure. Egypt today supplies all the explosives and arms being smuggled into Gaza, including those used to build the rockets that bombard the Negev each morning. The Egyptian media are at least as anti-Semitic as the Iranian media. Egypt is accumulating huge stocks of military armaments and there is no guarantee it would not join in any future Arab armed assault on Israel.
 
      Kal v’chomer, how much more so should there be reason for skepticism about Syrian behavior after any “peace deal” Syria signedwith Israel.
 
      In one of the Godfather movies, the young Don Corleone is asked what his offer is to a corrupt congressman. His answer: “We offer you nothing. Absolutely nothing.” I can think of no better Israeli strategy for dealing with Damascus, at least until Syria evolves into a stable, democratic country seriously seeking peace with its neighbors.
 

      Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at stevenplaut@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel Should Offer Syria Nothing”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.
The “Esther Moment” and Why There is Nothing “Random” About This Day
Latest Indepth Stories
Red Line Obama

UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.

Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.

Silwan, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, founded by Yemenite Jews in 1881

Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them

Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

More Articles from Steven Plaut
bibi knesset

The Israel Prize, the nation’s premier prize, is awarded in a range of areas for various disciplines

Structure made out of the "Planks of Labor's Platform"

The “brand new” Israeli Labor Party has revealed its brand new political platform and brand new agenda and we thought we would sum it all up for you. Here are the planks of the Labor Party Platform: Appeasement is the highest form of resistance and vehemence. Cowardice is the highest form of bravery. Treason is […]

Many questions, all with thee same, single answer

Why does Israeli health services refuse to finance species reassignment surgery as well?

Proposals for France to achieve a full, lasting, and just peace with their historic opponents

The iconic image is baby Shani in the arms of a policewoman frantically searching for Shani’s mother

“Oppressed people unfortunately often are forced into use of violence.”

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israel-should-offer-syria-nothing/2007/01/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: