Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) caused quite a furor yesterday when he advocated withdrawing from the Golan Heights in the interests of making peace with Syria.

One is tempted to ask where his head it. But rather than discuss this at length myself today, I would like to share Barry Rubin’s thoughts on the matter and recommend that his entire piece — “Talk of talk is damaging” — be read.

Says Rubin: “There are… basic reasons why the belief that negotiations with the Fabulously Extremist Four (Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran) are going to solve anything is the opium of the opinion-makers.

“1. They have far-reaching goals. They want a Middle East without Israel; a world without America; and a chador in every closet. These are not agrarian reformers: they are consistent totalitarians on a level with fascism and Communism. “2. They think they are winning. Even defeats are interpreted as victories, with some help from large portions of the Western media and intelligentsia. Especially now, they believe that the tide of history is running in their direction. Why should they be willing to make deals with those thought soon to be their victims?

“3. They believe their enemies are weak and cowardly. Can you blame them? The calls for concessions, the demands for detente, the nattering for negotiations are all taken by them as signs of weakness. Compromise is not a concept, at least right now, in their vocabulary.

“4. All the assumptions made by the negotiate-now crowd (part of which is an appeasement-now crowd) are wrong.

“THIS IS the point upon which I want to focus. The interests of Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and Syria are in line with extremism and aggression, not moderation. These people are not deluded or merely aggrieved – they have a pretty good strategy going. Why shouldn’t they sing, ‘The future belongs to me!’

“If the appeasers win out, it will.”