Still, the leaders of Qatar, Turkey and Syria in their meeting agreed that Israel's record notwithstanding, peace is the optimal means to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and with it, Israeli occupation. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton recently declared that resuming the Syrian-Israeli negotiations was "extremely important" for the EU, and the Obama administration has repeatedly lauded Turkey for its efforts to bring peace to these warring countries.
Yet, the current government in Israel, without equivocation, inexorably rejects these international demands. Their president declared this week from Moscow that a peace agreement with Syria will not include returning the Golan, as his foreign minister echoed: "Syria must be made to understand that it has to relinquish its demand for the Golan Heights." However, UN resolutions, the US, EU, China, Russia, and all relevant parties agree that a final peace is one based on the principle of "land for peace."
Beyond pointing the finger at who is responsible for the absence of peace, this is the moment of truth. Syria is currently sitting on one end of the indirect negotiations table, alongside the Turkish mediator, and behind us are all major world powers that support the talks. The other seat remains empty. Will a partner in peace finally present itself? Moreover, will the world, spearheaded by its superpower, help convince Israel that shear power will never bring her security; rather, only peace will?
These are the questions we must pose in order to address the root cause of our current impasse. Drawing public opinion to the alliances and armaments of the different parties in the region is not only futile, but is a diversion tactic aimed at evading the requirements for peace.
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