Israeli officials, including those in the intelligence community, are divided over the degree to which Syrian President Bashar Assad is serious and sincere in his call for peace talks with Israel.
One view describes Assad’s call as a propaganda campaign, and insists that the Syrian leader is not serious. Among those holding this view is Mossad chief Meir Dagan.
In Military Intelligence the view differs. There are those who say that Assad is serious in his call for peace talks, but also say that this does not mean that those talks would be easy for Israel. They even suggest that there is a very good chance that the talks would fail.
It is also known that the Syrians have recently tried to send messages to the Israeli leadership through intermediaries in Europe. These are English nationals and former American diplomats. " Haaretz
Actually, this is "old news," but worth a comment anyway. The Syrian "banditti" have been trying to "dial out" to Washington and Tel Aviv for years now. They are frightened by the overt hostility of the Bush Administration, and would very much like to make a deal. What deal? It seems to me that the level of their perceived vulnerability is so high that they would pretty much make any deal that offered the regime survival and a chance to re-build relations.
Washington is not interested. Why? It is because the survival of the Syrian "bandit" regime is not part of the "Freedom Agenda." Now, I know that the "economic determinist" crowd will work out some way to find that American financial or resource interests are to blame for this attitude in Washington. That will be interesting. The anti-Zionist crowd will surely explain our attitude toward Syria in the usual way. But, is that altogether satisfactory as an explanation? I think not.
It has always seemed to me that the interaction of American friends of Israel and the various Israeli governments has been a "two way" business. On many occasions it has been clear to me that the Israeli government has been unable to "dictate" the terms of cooperation.
This appears to be one such case. It is not a surprise to me that IDF intelligence (Aman) has within it, a variety of opinions concerning the possibilities in Syria. That was always true in the past. Why should the situation be different now? I sense an opportunity for an agreement between Damascus and Tel Aviv. Unfortunately for the two parties involved, their interests are being sacrificed in the pursuit of the "dreams," the bloody minded "dreams." pl