web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Steven Plaut
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

One grey night it happened, Bibi caved no more
& Poof that Foggy Bottomer, he vanished from our sight

Ehud Olmert
Feb. 27, 2014

It’s six K, five K, four K, Graft !
(Daylight come and da jail’s his new home)

In 2012, an initiative was begun in the Knesset led by David Rotem (from the Yisrael Beitenu party), to cut the stipends and pensions paid to convicted murderers and terrorists by 50 percent.

When the Temple was in existence, Jews were religiously obligated to eat roast meat at least once a year.

I have frequently drawn up lists of what I love most about Israel, and Arik Einstein has ranked high.

In the past, the law school prohibited the singing of Hatikvah.

American non-Orthodox Jews are intermarrying their way into post-Jewish oblivion, and they’re doing so as a direct result of having emptied their version of Judaism of all meaning.

The Taliban is all too willing to obliterate anything attesting to ancient Jewish life and culture.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: