Please see my most recent article , which addresses the issue of Iranian support for Fatah — putting the lie absolutely and equivocally to the notion that Fatah is moderate, and exposing the lunacy of attempting to "strengthen" Fatah by providing it with further weapons.
And this is hardly the last of the lunacy , Heaven help us. Word is that Olmert is ready to consider negotiating with Syria and to give back the Golan in return for real peace.
And how is "real peace" measured with this man who is currently inciting the overthrow of the legitimate Lebanese gov’t via the radical Fatah al-Islam and promoting Hezbollah via smuggling of weapons? We’ll give back the Golan if Assad promises to stop all this and to cut ties with Iran. And if we give back the Golan and Assad promises and reneges on that promise and keeps doing his thing? And we’ve given away a strategic asset — a high place from which our enemies can shoot down on us?
I try to maintain equanimity in the face of this. But it’s close to impossible.
According to Yediot Achronot today Olmert reportedly has already informed Syria, via a third party, that he is aware that a peace agreement with Syria "means returning the Golan to Syrian sovereignty." He would be willing to do so, but wants to know if Syria, in return, will "dismantle, in stages, its alliance with Iran, Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist organizations."
This is breathtaking. That he informs Syria that he "knows" we would have to give them the Golan. This is a way to negotiate, by agreeing up front? Bad, bad, bad. Why the hell are we so quick to concede and give away points??? Not the way to do it! If there are benefits to Syria in making peace with Israel in terms of its position in the world, let Syria make the concessions. Stand tough.
How about: "I know you’d like the Golan, but we are attached to it for strategic and other reasons and would like to offer a number of other benefits that would make Syrian’s position inestimably better than it currently is: We will work to bring you a warm welcome in the western world, with economic support and substantial diplomatic gains, so that your position will be stronger than it could possibly be otherwise. Yours will no longer be a pariah nation and the international pressure will be removed from you. That pressure remains a risk to your regime at present. It can be eliminated via your good faith. What we ask in return is that you separate from Iran and from promotion of Hezbollah and Hamas. If you find this is worth your while, I will be happy to hear from you."
This, my friends, would mean "peace for peace" — the only way to go, instead of "land for peace" — which doesn’t work.
In today’s Jerusalem Post is a report that "a senior Western diplomat, stationed in Israel" says that Israel is in a position to pull Damascus out of the Iranian orbit, if Israel has the "political will and courage" to negotiate.
This infuriates me. I don’t know what country this diplomat represents — my understanding that it a European nation — but for sure his nation, whatever it is, is not being asked to relinquish territory vital to security. How easy it is to say what we should do. Israel, the sacrificial lamb.
The best news I have is that in a poll commissioned by Maariv, 84% of Israelis are opposed to giving up all of the Golan. And reaction in the Knesset on the right is strong against this.
There are calls from Likud and National Union to Shas and Yisrael Beitenu to quit the coalition now and bring down the government. "Olmert has no public legitimacy for a withdrawal from the Golan," said Gideon Saar (Likud). "Far from our eyes, processes are taking place that will be hard to stop in the future. The responsibility for this lies upon all the members of the government and coalition."
Olmert will be meeting with Bush very soon. I ask all of you good people reading this who are US citizens to contact the president without delay.
Remind him, please, that a strong Israel is absolutely in the best interest of the US and that ultimately US will be badly served if Israel is pressured and subsequently weakened. Tell him that Abbas is not moderate and that Fatah fails to take out Hamas because of failure of will. Say that Israel should not be expected to relinquish territory or to permit more weapons into the area, as these actions are counterproductive to long-term US goals.
President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
White House Comment line: 202-456-1111
TTY/TDD Comment line: 202-456-6213.
I remind you that a letter is most effective — snail mail or faxed, and e-mail least effective. Act to the best of your ability.
I’m picking up information from a number of sources (though other sources contradict these) that the Bush administration has decided not to bomb Iran and has informed Israel and the Gulf States of this. The logic is that the US wants Iran — can you believe this??? — to help stabilize the situation with Iraq so US troops can pull out. As Caroline Glick puts it, the US seems to have decided that it’s better to be out of Iraq and have a nuclear Iran, than to stop Iran and stay in Iraq.
So, please, in communicating with the president , urge him to be tough on Iran for the sake of the entire world, very much including the US. Remind him that preventing a nuclear Iran would be his greatest legacy.