Monitor: International press comment on the negotiations between Israel and Syria over the future of the Golan Heights
ALL THE NEWS OF THE WORLD
Thursday 16 December 1999
The international community has welcomed the resumption of negotiations on the Syrian track from the point they stopped at in February 1996. This world attitude also confirms the credibility of Syria's policy towards the Middle East peace process and the seriousness and honesty of her bid to realise a just and comprehensive peace solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Faith in just peace has become the strategic option of Syria since President Hafez al-Assad made it crystal clear to the whole world that there will never be peace, security and stability in the region so long as one inch of the Golan and South Lebanon remains under occupation or any legitimate right of the Palestinian people is usurped. By taking this honest attitude, President al-Assad has opened the way wide to the establishment of a just, comprehensive and durable peace. Syria has spared no effort to reach such a moment. Israel has to show its true intentions and the US has a key role to help set things on the right path leading to a real peace solution.
Jewish World Review
Though it loomed very large for a few months, it is inconceivable that Kosovo will figure at all prominently in historical evaluations of the Clinton presidency. That is why the elusive Middle East "peace process" beckons. When things are going poorly and there are no pharmaceutical plants to blow away, the United States can always lean on Israel to make concessions to its enemies. It's possible that Hafez Assad has had a true change of heart and now wants what the Israelis want - to live in peace as normal neighbours. But if he [Assad] has undergone such a change, there is not yet any evidence of it. Why the Israelis would even consider returning the Golan Heights is an open question, though in 1993 Rabin did offer to withdraw from most of the Golan if Assad would agree to full recognition and peace with Israel. Assad rejected the offer. (United States)
The New York Times
History beckons in Washington, as Israel and Syria open peace talks that could bring an end to an era of conflict in the Middle East. The Israelis and Syrians appear eager to resolve their differences quickly, and they will have the assistance of President Clinton in trying to do so. The major issues facing negotiators involve control of the Golan Heights, the restoration of peace in Lebanon and the safeguarding of Israeli security. Despite the narrow margin of approval Israel's parliament gave Mr Barak's negotiating plans on Monday, the moment is promising for a settlement with Syria and the Israeli leader should be bold in seizing it. Peace with Syria and Lebanon would mean that for the first time since its creation in 1948, Israel would no longer face armed hostility from any of its immediate neighbours.
The Jerusalem Post
The negotiations between Israel and Syria are only beginning in Washington, but the political debate here has already moved on to the aftermath of an agreement. Among the controversies surrounding a potential agreement is the unprecedented manner in which it is expected to be ratified - through a popular referendum. In this context, it is disturbing that considerable numbers of Israelis believe that an agreement should be ratified by a super-majority in order to negate the influence of the Arab vote. It should be clear that no one is suggesting that Israeli Arabs should not be allowed to vote in a referendum. It is wrong, however, to single out any one group as somehow disqualified from influencing decisions, even critical ones, that are being made democratically.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 3 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
Jay Z's Tidal could be about to lose Beyonce's music in ultimate humiliation
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Big Brother 2015 new housemates: Simon Gross returns as stripper Marc O'Neill, model Harry Amelia Martin and X Factor reject Sam Kay join
Burning Man festival revellers accidentally torch prehistoric artefacts in Israel
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'