As I mentioned yesterday, during the NORPAC trip to Washington a congressman asked my group what we thought of the news about the negotiations between Israel and Syria.
My answer, after stressing that this was not NORPAC's position, was that I was extremely skeptical about the sincerity of Syria in wanting peace. I pointed out that the Syrian border was the quietest of all Israel's borders and the borders where Israel made compromises for "peace" were the ones where there was the least peace. I mentioned the possibility that Iran is really behind this "peace" offer, and if Syria could gain the Golan through negotiations then it effectively puts Iran's troops at Israel's doorstep, giving them a huge advantage in conventional warfare, let alone speaking about their unconventional warfare aspirations.
My brother EBoZ added that with Iran sponsoring Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, this would surround Israel with its most implacable foe.
Another member of my group pointed out that Arabs look at Israel as an aberration in the Middle East, and that they are very patient because in their view Israel will simply not exist in the long term. Indeed, I added, the internal Arabic press considers the sixty years of Israel's existence to be similar to the Crusades, when the Muslims ultimately regained control of Jerusalem and other areas.
The congressman seemed a little surprised but had no other comments.
Soccer Dad pointed out to me a YNet article saying that there is no way that the two sides will agree and to "relax." While he says that he thought the article was too optimistic, he recalls how previous negotiations over Syria (especially under Netanyahu) have broken down in the past over Syria's intransigence.
Perhaps. But the most uncomfortable part of yesterday's events in Washington came when former Knesset member and minister Dan Meridor, in the midst of a rousing Zionist speech and after hearing many senators and congressmen talking about their support of new versions of the Syria Accountability Act, stated as fact that Israel would have to make painful concessions to Syria (without mentioning it by name.)
This was greeted with complete silence and at least two "boos."