Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Damascus Conversion

Why peace with Syria is more urgent than ever

Print Email

Last Friday afternoon, we worried that high tensions between Israel and Syria—most immediately prompted by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s threats to Syrian leader Bashar Assad—could lead to violence. Well, fortunately, they haven’t so far, and hot tempers have appeared to cool over the weekend. Which can allow us now to focus on the broader question of Israeli-Syrian hostility.

That there is currently no peace is partly a function of Israel’s unwillingness to give up the Golan Heights. But, really, blame for the enmity can probably be primarily laid at the feet of Syrian intransigence. Problem is (as I mentioned last Friday), that intransigence toward Israel has not stopped its newly important neighbor Turkey from seeking closer ties. It has not even prevented the United States from attempting to cozy up to Syria—America, which hopes to send its first ambassador to Damascus since 2005, would love a Syria that is less in Iran’s orbit and is cooperative in trying to maintain stability in neighboring Iraq as U.S. military forces withdraw.

A Haaretz correspondent notes, “Syria is a key country along a new axis being formed in the Middle East, which includes Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. The backbone of this axis is economic, security, and diplomatic cooperation that would replace the old axis of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.” A smart Israeli leader would view the region in a more classically realist way, the correspondent adds, and work extra hard to achieve peace with Syria:

Israel, which is used to examining the region through a lens that counts Hezbollah’s missiles and Hamas’ explosive barrels sent to sea, and which considers the prisoner numbers in the Gilad Shalit deal the crux of the security threat, is blind to the region’s strategic developments. The expression “we want peace,” which is void of substance, cannot even begin to express the folly and shortsightedness of Israel, which is shrugging its shoulders at a chance to reach peace with Syria, if for no other reason than to prevent a damaging blow from this new axis.

To this end, we need a statesman, not a comedian. The leader who can make Israelis understand that peace with Syria does not mean eating humus in Damascus but is an existential interest, no less important than blocking Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Peace With Syria As Vital As Stopping Iran’s Bomb [Haaretz]

Earlier: Israel and Syria In Crisis

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Damascus Conversion

Why peace with Syria is more urgent than ever

More on Tablet:

Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS

By Lee Smith — Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose