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Monday, April 13, 2009

Syria's Three Noes

You can read the whole article here but the writer does make one wonder why any idiot in the Israeli government would consider giving the Golan Heights to Syria in light of The Chinless One's most recent pronouncement on the subject. Peace clearly isn't one of the reasons. At least, not as normal people envision peace. Normal is used deliberately here.

"In a recent interview with the Emirati newspaper Al-Khaleej, Assad made a remarkable – and indeed unprecedented – comment about what his concept of “peace” with Israel was. “A peace agreement,” he said, “is a piece of paper you sign. This does not mean trade and normal relations, or borders, or otherwise.”

The long-held view among people dealing with the negotiating track between Syria and Israel is that a peace deal will lead to a normalization of relations between the two countries. That was the purported basis of their talks during the 1990s. In recent years, another element was added to the argument, namely that a peace deal would distance Syria from Iran and allied militant groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, so that Damascus might even put pressure on Hamas itself to accept peace talks with Israel. This ambitious theory was dubbed “strategic reorientation”, and it has become the basis for conceptualizing engagement of Syria today.

However, the implications of Assad’s statement to Al-Khaleej should lead to a reassessment of the Syrian-Israeli track. Assad has now articulated what he had strongly implied for years.

In 2002, at the Arab League summit in Beirut, Assad led a strenuous effort to torpedo the formula put forward by Saudi Arabia’s then-crown prince, Abdullah, which offered Israel “full normalization for full withdrawal.” Assad rejected the term “normalization” and in the end a compromise was reached on watered-down language proposing only “normal ties”.

Then last July, Assad went further, telling the Qatari satellite station Al-Jazeera that from the Syrian point of view, “the word ‘normalization’ does not exist.” He insisted that it was a Western concoction that Syria rejected. Instead, Assad used an even more downgraded term, namely “average relations”, whose Arabic root removes any link to the word “normal.” The late Syrian president, Hafez al-Assad, also told interlocutors during the 1990s that he did not accept the word “normalization.” Now, with his son’s declarations, the regime’s position can be summarized in three No’s: No normalization, no trade and no borders, by which Assad presumably meant no open borders."

In other words, give us back the Golan which we stole from mandatory Palestine through the agency of our French and British colonial masters in the first place, used as an artillery platform for decades and launch point for two invasions, and we'll give Israel -- nothing.

No, thanks. Keep your stinking worthless piece of paper, we'll keep the Golan. If you decide to get serious, call us. You know the number. If you don't, I'm sure Ankara has it.


Blogger Mo-ha-med said...

I'll give you a critique I once received: you are far angrier on paper than you are in real life.
I am tempted to believe the person I met is closer to the real you than the blogger. :)

WRT to 'normalisation', you have to understand that it is laden with negative connotations. No one in their right mind can actually ask for that in a positive mind. There's more semantics here than the author you quote seems to be aware of - or willing to admit. In any event, the website runs a very anti-syrian line so they should be taken as a source with great care.

WRT to the Golan heights - well they are occupied territory, and they are Syria's, and honestly in a perfect world they shouldn't owe you anything in exchange.. the Middle East 'peace' game can be summarised as - I'll take item A and will only give it back if you give me item B in exchange. There's something inherently flawed in this system and it's probably in favour of all players - Israel included - to learn to accept 'no relations' as a good alternative to hostility.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 8:46:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Admittedly. I don't see it as angry so much as strong, but then I hear myself when I write and not necessarily how others hear me. {grin} But you should know--your stuff is pretty provocative at times also. This is good. Makes people think and discuss.

The Golan is occupied territory and looks like it will remain so indefinitely. You know my position--occupation is not illegal per se so long as it ends when there is a formal peace. I don't see peace as a reasonably foreseeable possibility with Syria in the near future.

I don't think Syria is as interested in the Golan as it is interested in Greater Syria---the Baathists adopted that platform, occupied Lebanon as a first step, have invaded Jordan (albeit briefly) and I suspect still believe that with Tehran's help, they will be Greater Syria again, from the Euphrates to the Sea.

and yes, the person you met is the Real Me.....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 9:54:00 PM GMT+3  

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