Political Implications of Israeli-Syrian Peace Talks

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Dr. Ian Lustick
Professor of Political Science
University of Pennsylvania

• Author of “Trapped in the War on Terror”
• Consultant on Middle East affairs and national security for
every White House administration since President Carter.

" The announcement of peace talks between Israel and Syria, brokered through Turkey, is one of the most positive developments we've witnessed in the Middle East in many years. It has been well known that security and other officials in Israel had been struggling for some time to open this channel. Their efforts had confronted opposition, not only in Israel, but also from circles in the U.S. government who have insisted on treating both Syria and Iran as terrorist states.

“This view, associated with Vice President Cheney, would treat both of these countries as ineligible for negotiations. That view was reflected in President Bush's recent comment that anyone willing to negotiate with Iran, Syria's closest ally, was an ‘appeaser.’ However, now that the Israeli government has made its choice and has put the future of the Golan Heights on the table in negotiations with Syria, it will be very difficult for John McCain to characterize Barack Obama as an ‘appeaser’ for being willing to talk to states such as Iran and Syria."