The all-clear siren was recently heard around here. Syrian President Bashar Assed estimated that Israel and Syria will not be signing a peace treaty before United States President George W. Bush leaves the White House (he will be departing, by the way, in January 2009.)
Now we can all relax: Thank God, there shall be no peace with Syria. That’s the last thing we need at this time – peace. Is he crazy, that Assad character? He should take a chill pill.
President Bush can leave the White House and go home with his peace of mind intact. A peace agreement with Syria will likely not be secured during the term of Barak Obama either (or alternately, during John McCain’s presidency.) It won’t happen even after Obama is in the White House for eight years. Or even after that.
It depends on usBecause after all, peace with Syria, with all due respect to the United States, depends not only on America, and not even on Syria. It also depends on what Israel does.
And in Israel, we have not yet seen the leader, and it is doubtful whether we will see one, who stands up and says what everyone knows and suppresses and denies: There will be no peace with Syria unless we return the Golan Heights to the Syrians.
To make it clear: This is not what we want to see happening. Yet this is what needs to happen in order to have peace.
Yet until such Israeli leader is born, Assad can relax. Despite his relatively young age, he will likely be a cheerful pensioner residing at some fancy old-age home in Damascus before he is invited to attend any kind of peace ceremony.