On Assad’s Visit to Spain: Pissing in the Wind

Global media fail to accurately report on Bashar al-Assad’s anti-peace statements that he made in Madrid, where he said:

1)    “signing peace agreement does not mean actual peace, but more like a permanent ceasefire.”

2)    “Should there be peace with Israel, an Israeli Embassy will open in Damascus, but it will be besieged and no one will dare enter.”

3)    “Should there be peace with Israel, no tourists will come nor businessmen.”

4)    “There will be no popular sympathy for any peace achieved with Israel.” Continue reading

Are you awake yet Mr. President?

Because you see. Mr. President, the world is not exactly standing still while you revel in “thy golden slumber,” and it does not stand still while your learn your way around. Realities in that little piece of dysfunctional paradise, AKA, the Middle East, continue to shift, and guess what? As they do so, they make a mockery out of the very principles you espouse.

Engagement you say? “Engage this!” they say. Continue reading

Towards a democratic Syria!

In 1998, only 219 Syrians voted against Hafez Assad’s government. One of them was Ammar Abdulhamid. Now exiled and awaiting political asylum in US, Syrian opposition leader talks to Ynet in exclusive interview.

Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON – In a national referendum held by late Syrian President Hafez Assad in 1998, only 219 people voted against the government. One of them was Ammar Abdulhamid, 40, a Syrian opposition activist, exiled from Damascus in 2005 and currently awaiting political asylum in the United States. Continue reading

Should Syria and Israel Start Peace Talks Now?

My latest contribution to the Creative Syria Think Tank is up and running, alongside those of my dear friend, Ibrahim Hamidi, Patrick Seale and Ghayth Armanazi. As usual, people can read and vote on the various contributions.

How should the two countries plan for the talks in order to enhance the chances of success? What other related issues should be dealt with as part of the final solution? Continue reading

Of Grand Visions & Miniscule Leaders!

Many Israelis seem to be interested in advocating talks with Syria these days, including my former colleague at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, Avi Dichter, not to mention my other former colleague, but always the friend, Flynt Leverett, who wrote quite an analysis of US foreign policy in the latest issue of the American Prospect calling for the adoption of a new vision and a new approach, especially to the Middle East. Continue reading