In the Arena

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Direct from the Judean Hills, a discussion middle east peace prospects. Is it possible that the United States is actually discouraging the Israelis from talking to the Syrians? (Of course it is.)

Also from the Judean Hills, an exclusive interview with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Update: They don’t want American politicians talking to the Syrians, either.
Meanwhile, someone should remind the White House that we still have a fully-staffed embassy, minus the ambassador, in Damascus. Clearly, Assad is not Nelson Mandela. His family, especially his sister and brother-in-law (the head of security) are extremely bad actors in a Corleone sort of way–and they want to continue using Lebanon as part of the family candy store. But Assad has said on numerous occasions–including to me, two years ago–that he wants to talk…to us, to the Israelis. And several other members of his government have told me that Syrians would like to rejoin the other Arab states, and not be so close to the Iranians. It is sheer stubborn stupidity that we are not pursuing this.