Syria Will Mention Golan at Annapolis

Does Syrian participation in Annapolis mean yet another offer to give away the Golan to Syria? Will Syria fill the Golan with dozens of Arab towns?

Hillel Fendel,

Golan overlooking the Kinneret
Golan overlooking the Kinneret

Though the Golan Heights will not be placed on the official agenda at Annapolis, it will be mentioned in a speech by the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister. Syria agreed to participate in the summit after it was agreed that it could raise the topic of Israel's control over the Golan.

Syria will send its Deputy Foreign Minister to take part in the talks - though other Arab countries are sending their Foreign Ministers.  Prime Minister Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni, in Washington, said they were happy Syria had agreed to take part in the Annapolis proceedings.

The American-sponsored summit is scheduled to take place this Tuesday. 

A Million Syrians in the Golan?
Middle East affairs expert Dr. Guy Bechor says that if the Golan is given over to Syria, Syria will immediately begin populating the area with hundreds of thousands of its citizens, "thus forming a type of Gaza on our northern shoulder."  As a result, Bechor continues, the Galilee - the heavily Arab-populated area of northern Israel just beneath the Golan Heights - will come under Syrian influence, possibly leading to Galilee-originating Arab terror attacks on the rest of Israel.

"For this reason alone," writes Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord, "the idea of handing over the Golan to the Syrians must removed from the agenda."

Arabs at Annapolis
Bechor also states that the reason the Arab countries are showing up at Annapolis at all is merely because they are afraid of the rise of Iran and political Islam.  "They will have to pay the price of remaining, openly, in one room with Israelis," Bechor writes in his latest commentary piece, adding that they were able to secure a promise that they would not have to shake hands with Israelis or talk directly to them."

Though they claim to want peace, Bechor writes, "they will be in Annapolis in order to place the onus on Israel. They will say they are willing to have peace with Israel, but with conditions that Israel will never be able to accept: to give up all of eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Golan, and to agree to accept the Palestinian refugees in its borders, as well as a Palestinian state."

Yossi Ben-Aharon, a former Director of the Prime Minister's Office who led the negotiating team with Syria under the Shamir administration, told Arutz-7 that he fears the government will once again offer to give up the entire Golan, as Ehud Barak did several years ago.  "This is because we have a bunch of spineless idiots in the government," Ben-Aharon said.  He explained that the reason Syria did not agree in the past to accept Barak's offer "is apparently because Assad the father was not willing to agree to the full diplomatic relations and open borders that Israel demanded."

Ben-Aharon said he calls upon Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu to announce that because the Olmert government is not taking the right-wing public into account in his policies, "Netanyahu, as well, if and when he forms a government, should not take the left-wing into account, and should announce that he may not accept Olmert's concessions as his government's policy."

Peres Advised PLO
Back in 1996, Ben-Aharon told Arutz-7 that during the Yitzchak Shamir-led government, Shimon Peres - currently the President of Israel - advised the heads of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, then based in Tunisia, on negotiation strategies with Israel. "This proved to be very damaging to our negotiating efforts with the Palestinian representatives in Madrid," said Ben-Aharon.