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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Av 27, 5766, 8/21/2006

      Raising the Flag of Surrender

      Just days after Syria's President spoke openly of "liberating" the Golan Heights by force, a prominent Israeli government minister has now signaled a willingness to surrender to Damascus' demands.

      In a thinly-veiled trial balloon aimed at testing public opinion, Israel's Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said today that he believes that in exchange for peace with Syria, the Jewish state can abandon the Golan.

      White_flag_2That's right – Dichter is ready to hand over the commanding heights of the Golan to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the same guy who helped to arm, train and finance Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon.

      Why the sudden talk of forging a deal with Syria? The government would have us believe that Israel needs to pry Syria away from its alliance with Iran in order to weaken the Axis of Terror in the region.

      That would make sense, except for one small, pesky detail: Syria has no desire, interest or intention of weakening its bond with Teheran.

      In fact, the real reason behind the talk of peace with Syria is far more simple: with calls mounting for the establishment of a state commission of inquiry into the failed military operation in Lebanon, the Government is desperate to change the subject. It needs to create the impression that it is on the verge of a historic breakthrough, because that is the only way of staving off demands for its resignation.

      And so, it is cynically trying to turn the same Mr. Assad who was behind Hizbullah's attacks on Israelis last week into a potential peace partner this week.

      Is this good for the country? Of course not. After the government's Lebanon fiasco left Israel looking weak to its neighbors, they have now compounded the problem by signaling a readiness to retreat in the face of Assad's threats.

      What Dichter and others like him have yet to learn is that in the Middle East, raising the flag of surrender only invites further aggression and bloodshed.