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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Olmert to Cede the Golan Heights?

Recently, I hypothesized tha having the high ground of the Golan Heights is in and of itself a de facto peace accord with Syria. I proclaimed that under no circumstances should Israel ever give up the Heights because it gives Israel such a strategic military advantage that by extension it leads to peace.

On another note, Ehud Olmert is the first Israeli PM with little military background. That may explain why he is willing to trade the peace that comes from a natural military advantage for a worthless piece of paper.

ISRAELI Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has notified Damascus of his readiness to withdraw completely from the Golan Heights in return for peace, a Syrian cabinet minister declared yesterday.

Expatriates Minister Buthaina Shaaban said Mr Olmert had delivered his message to Damascus via Turkish intermediaries.

"Olmert is ready for peace with Syria on the grounds of the return of the Golan Heights in full to Syria," she declared. Israeli officials declined to confirm or deny the report.

The statement by Ms Shaaban, who frequently serves as spokeswoman for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, was preceded earlier by two Syrian press
reports along the same line.

Obviously, reports like this have a built in dubiousness, however if this is true, this will eventually lead to nothing less than an unmitigated disaster for Israel. Just like Hamas which also asked for the high ground in exchange for peace, Syria can use the high ground in many different ways and many of them could be used and still maintain peace. There are plenty of Syrian surrogates, like Hezbollah, that could use this very high ground to attack Israel while Syria technically holds up their end.

If these reports are true, it will ironically be the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East in a long time.

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