Monday, January 15, 2007

Israel-Syria "Understanding"

This looks like something which - if carried through to its purported ends - could have tremendous implications for the state of the Middle East (and hence the world):

In-Depth Haaretz coverage

Hopefully, the fact that it is being covered in a major news outlet is a sign that the parties are carrying on to the next level and making it official, and it will not collapse as a result of the exposure. The last few paragraphs are not entirely encouraging - it seems that Israel is not yet willing to officially acknowledge any talks, and Syria is still in a "demand" mode. The nature of the Golan transfer is also somewhat suspect - would Israel be willing to transfer this flashpoint area for water control and "parkland"? According to the disputed Wikipedia page, there are more Jewish settlers than indigenous Druze residents. However, the Syrian concessions - withdrawal of support from Hezbollah and Hamas, along with distancing from Iran - are remarkable and even hard to believe. If this were not coming from Israel's paper of record, I would have some trouble accepting its veracity.

Interestingly, originally saw this on Newsvine here, which is an AP report. No American or British outlets seem to be reporting it as of 1:50 AM EST.

Also - what is going to be the upshot of Rice being in the region?

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