Israel & Syria

-Turkey is readying efforts to get Israel-Syria talks underway. (Haaretz)

-Looking at the substantial domestic opposition to a deal with Syria Uzi Beniziman argues that “Olmert must occupy center stage, not operate solely from behind the curtains…he has to create a stable coalition for the peace initiative, get the support of the defense establishment, and prepare the public for the concessions that successful negotiations will entail.� (Haaretz)

-And the issue could shape up as a wedge issue in any Olmert-Barak rivalry in the future. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Gideon Levy argues that Syria now offers Israel “the fateful, clear and unambiguous choice – peace or real estate.â€? Security considerations (“the country’s eyes” and “strategic depth”) are “no longer relevant. If Syria wants to attack Israel, it can do so with or without the Golan Heights.â€? (Haaretz)

-And Yoel Marcus argues that while a peace agreement with Syria needs close examination (“It must include evicting Palestinian terror chiefs from Syria, an end to arming Hezbollah and, most importantly, severing strategic ties with Iran.�), that “There is nothing that could create a more positive change in the Middle East than a peace accord between Israel and Syria,� and that Olmert ought to be willing to make Golan concessions to get it. (Haaretz)

-But Guy Bechor argues, “we need to understand that we already have peace with Syria, and possibly a situation that is even better than peace.� (Ynet)

-And Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz says, “any handover of the Golan Heights to them means Iranians in the Golan Heights.” (The Jerusalem Post)

-A group of Rabbis have ruled that withdrawal from the Golan is halakhically impermissible. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Military historian Prof. Martin van Creveld of Hebrew University makes the case for a deal with Syria, and discusses internal ramifications within Syria. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Alex Fishman argues that releasing the photos taken in and around the Syrian reactor was a reckless breach of security. (Ynet)

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