20 January '10
Yossi Alpher, a well-known analyst of the Israeli-Arab conflict and, despite his left-wing orientation, someone who should know better, wrote this:
[R]enewal of the peace process between Israel and Syria deserves more and better attention from the US and the moderate Arab states. Unlike in the Palestinian arena, here the parameters of a process are clear, most of the negotiating has already been done and Syrian President Bashar Assad is able to deliver. Obviously, success in the Israeli-Syrian arena is not guaranteed. But if achieved it would reduce Iran’s regional influence and weaken Hamas, thereby improving the chances for fruitful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – when circumstances are more favorable than today.
Alpher correctly understands that while Hamas controls Gaza and while PA President Mahmoud Abbas is committed — by ideology and by fear of his constituency — to maximal demands on borders, refugees, Jerusalem, etc., there can be no secure peace agreement with the Palestinians. So, maybe for lack of anything else to do, he thinks Israel should pursue an agreement with Syria.
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