Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ramzy Baroud, "Engaging Syria: Losing ground," Palestine Chronicle, June 6, 2008.

The failure to completely marginalise Hamas led to immense human suffering among Palestinians, but actually strengthened the democratically elected group. Every attempt at eradicating Hizbullah yielded the exact opposite outcome, and the group is now stronger than ever. The burning Israeli desire to ignite another US war against Iran is being met with little enthusiasm in the US as Bush's days in office are numbered.

On 15 May, President Bush gave a speech before the Israeli Knesset decrying "radicals and terrorists" (basically anyone who opposes the United States and Israel). His archaic references to the "promised land" and "chosen people" certainly appealed to the equally outdated and exclusivist views of many, though not all, Israeli Knesset members who reportedly saw in Bush the quintessential Zionist.

A few days later, Bush took his message to Sharm El-Sheikh, stating, "we must stand with the good and decent people of Iran and Syria, who deserve so much better than the life they have today. Every peaceful nation in the region has an interest in stopping these nations from supporting terrorism."

Yet, on 21 May, media reports revealed that Israel and Syria were engaged in mediated peace talks in Turkey. Both sides sounded upbeat, with Syrian officials stating that Israel showed readiness to withdraw from the entire Golan Heights, which it occupied in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981.

Within days of Bush's seemingly firm stance against "appeasement" -- which ignited a political storm back in his own country -- Israel seemed ready to do exactly what the US president had so ardently opposed.

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Ramzy Baroud ( is an author and editor of His work has been published in many newspapers and journals worldwide. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London).Recommend this Post

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