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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"If Israel is willing to think outside the box, it can deal Bashar al-Assad, Iran, and Hizbullah a body blow without firing a shot. Defense Minister Ehud Barak simply needs to convince Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to put back on the table the offer Barak made to Assad’s father in 2000—return of the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace with Israel. Twelve years ago this spring, Barak, after months of hesitation, finally put down a concrete offer to Hafez al-Assad. In Shepherdstown, W.Va., then Prime Minister Barak had rebuffed Syrian Foreign Minister Sharaa’s repeated requests to state clearly what Syrian territory captured in 1967 Israel was prepared to give back to Syria on the Golan. Sharaa offered full peace with extensive security arrangements, including demilitarizing the Golan, limiting Syrian troop deployments near the Heights even in and around Damascus, and exchanging ambassadors in return for a full withdrawal to the ceasefire line that marked the border before the 1967 war. Finally, in Geneva in March 2000, Barak gave President Clinton authority to offer Assad all of the Golan except a thin strip 500 meters wide along the northeastern shore of Lake Tiberius. Syria would be compensated with territory elsewhere and thus get 100 percent of its lands back. Clinton promised billions in military aid to Israel to help sell the deal. But it was too late; Assad was on his deathbed, focused more on his son’s succession, and said no. It was a tragic missed opportunity." (TheDailyBeast)

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