Does Israel Need to Reach an Agreement with Syria Now?

[Makor Rishon-Hebrew, 23Mar07] Interview with Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Giora Eiland by Pazit Rabina - "Does Israel need to reach an agreement with Syria now? The answer is no. Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in return for partial normalization and insufficient security arrangements is not in Israel's national interest.... Israel has serious reasons why it should not make a deal with Syria today: an Israel-Syria agreement does not solve the problem of a nuclear Iran...and unlike in the past, such an agreement would not solve the problem of Hizbullah, which today takes direction from Iran. In addition, the U.S., Israel's major ally, cares little for the idea." Eiland also believes that an agreement with Israel would lead the Sunni majority in Syria to challenge the current regime led by the Alawite minority, so the duration of any agreement with Assad would not be assured. "Beyond all future considerations, the bottom line is that there are no security arrangements that would compensate for giving up the Golan Heights. And I say this as someone with deep knowledge of the security arrangements discussion with the Syrians seven years ago." Eiland also noted that an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders would do little to improve the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza, and that a return to the Clinton parameters is no longer attractive to either side. Gen. Eiland is former head of Israel's National Security Council.

2007-03-27 01:00:00

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