Syrian President Bashar Assad said he is willing to sign a peace agreement with Israel in exchange for the Golan Heights
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that he was willing to trade peace for the Golan Heights, but was sure Israel would not take the offer. In the past, Assad has claimed that Israel really doesn't want peace but is merely satisfying the West. Rumors are that Israel offered the Golan to Syria in the past if they would cut ties with Iran.
If this is a legitimate offer from the Syrian president, Israel could face pressure from the international community to accept the offer. To most, the Golan Heights is a small price to pay for the promise of peace from a potential partner many believe is a major component to far wider regional peace. A likely snag in the proposal is the omission that Syria would severe ties with terrorist nation Iran and terrorist group Hezbollah. Israel has long required that any peace agreement with Syria would have to include this stipulation. But there are now signs that the US does not view Iran or Hezbollah in the same light as Israel. Over the last week, a US official gave Hezbollah a glowing review of change:
John Brennan, assistant to US President Barack Obama for homeland security and counterterrorism, told a Washington conference on Tuesday that Lebanese terrorist militia Hizballah has evolved significantly over the years, and cannot today be defined as a purely hostile and evil entity.
Reuters quoted Brennan as telling conference participants that Hizballah is a "very interesting organization" that has evolved from a "purely terrorist organization" into a movement that now boasts members of parliament and even cabinet ministers.
Rather than take issue with the Lebanese public for electing terrorists to government, much as the Palestinians did when they handed Hamas a landslide electoral victory in 2006, Brennan attributed the phenomenon to an alleged tactical shift inside Hizballah.
"I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hizbullah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion," he said (Israel Today).
Don't be surprised if both Hamas and Hezbollah are given legitimate places at the Middle East peace table over the next year.
Egyptian military forces are in the midst of conducting maneuvers in the Sinai Peninsula that many believe simulate an invasion of southern Israel. Dubbed "Badr-2010," the exercise featured an armed crossing of the Suez Canal followed by a deep thrust into "enemy territory," reported the Middle East News Agency (MENA). The only "enemy" territory west of the Suez Canal is Israel (Israel Today). Of course, Egyptian officials have dismissed this as merely a defensive maneuver.
US President Barack Obama is standing behind South Korea and has told US forces in that country to be ready for any aggression that may come from North Korea. The administration said it endorsed President Lee Myung-bak's demand that "North Korea immediately apologize and punish those responsible for the attack, and, most importantly, stop its belligerent and threatening behavior (MSNBC)."
In other news, the euro continues to slide causing stocks around the world to head southward. "If what happened in Greece were to happen in a large country, it could fundamentally mark our times," Angelos Pangratis, head of the European Union delegation to the United States, said Friday (Washington Post).
Are we one false move away from a total economic collapse? Are we experiencing what the Bible calls as a time of 'wars and rumors of wars'?
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