The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8


A very alarming decision on the part of current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken place – secret talks with Syria over the strategic area called “The GOLAN.”

by Hillel Fendel (Israel National News)

Israel and Syria issued similar announcements almost simultaneously around noon today (Wednesday), declaring the opening of unofficial talks between them.

Israel and Syria have never had diplomatic relations, and have been in a state of war ever since 1948. In 1967, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria, which had used the area for years to pound Israeli towns below with deadly rockets. These attacks killed 140 Israelis, wounded many more, and inflicted heavy property damage.

Since 1967, Syria has always demanded the full return of the Golan as a precondition for peace.

The Syrian declaration today that it has begun unofficial talks with Israel under Turkish auspices, with “the goal of reaching full peace in accordance with the principles reached at the Madrid Conference [in the mid-1980’s],” is seen as an indication that Israel has, in fact, agreed to withdraw to the pre-1967 border.

This jibes with Olmert’s lack of denial, last month, of Turkish reports that he had agreed to give over the entire Golan to Syria.

Such a withdrawal would mean that Israel would lose not only the strategic depth and water sources of the Golan, but would not even control the northeast perimeter of the Kinneret Sea (Sea of Galilee).

“The Nation is With the Golan” – by 4-1
The War and Peace Index of last month – a survey of 600 Israeli adults conducted by the B. I. Cohen Institute of Tel Aviv University – found that a whopping 75% of Israelis oppose an Israeli withdrawal from all of the Golan Heights for a full peace treaty with Syria, whereas only 19% favor this.

Governmental talk of giving away the Golan in 1996 and 1999-2000 was repressed by widespread popular national campaigns against it. In the mid-90’s, thousands of banners and a million stickers reading “HaAm Im HaGolan” (The Nation is With the Golan) graced porches, billboards and cars throughout the country. In January 2000, some 300,000 people took part in one of the largest demonstrations in Israeli history, calling on then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak not to withdraw the IDF from the Golan Heights.

It is known that United States is not enthusiastic about bringing terrorism-backing Syria into the circle of accepted nations. U.S. President George Bush visited Israel last week, and Prime Minister Olmert is set to pay a return visit two weeks from now. it is assumed that the topic of Syria is a signficant issue on their joint agenda.

Israeli negotiators Yoram Turbovitz and Shalom Turjeman have been meeting in Turkey with senior Syrian officials for the past three days.

The political establishment attacked Olmert for the timing of the announcement, as he is currently under intense political investigation for possible major financial crimes. Even Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) said, “Syria is still the seat of the axis of evil, and I’m not certain that it’s a good idea to give Israel’s northern front over to the axis of evil… Olmert himself said in the past that as long as Syria continues to hold its same positions, we shouldn’t talk with them – so what has changed now?”

Likud MKs, predictably, were much harsher. Together with the National Union and Israel Our Home, they demanded an immediate Knesset session on the matter, even as early as today.

Likud MK Gilad Erdan said the Prime Minister “is prepared to sell everything” in order to protect himself from police investigation. MK Yisrael Katz stated there is a clear majority in the Knesset against surrendering the Golan Heights, and MK Limor Livnat said Olmert has no “moral mandate” to conduct such talks with Syria.

“There are no limits to [Olmert’s] cynicism,” charged Likud faction chairman MK Gideon Saar. “He is playing around with the security of the country by agreeing to indirect talks with Syria.”

On the political left, Meretz MK Zahava Gal’on said she supports talks with Syria, but agrees that Olmert does not have the mandate to do it. Labor MK Shelly Yechimovitch expressed similar sentiments. Labor’s Eitan Cabel said talks with Syria must be held no matter who the Prime Minister is.

MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Religious Party ) asserted that the Prime Minister’s statement proves that the criminal probe is reaching a critical stage.

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