A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official responded yesterday to a press statement made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Saturday, saying “Israel is not a partner for peace,” by calling the Syrian dictator’s credibility into question.

“What interests Assad is not peace, but rather the peace process. Assad knows very well that he will have to pay for peace with normalization and open his country to the West, which could bring about the toppling of his regime,” said Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon. “Assad is only interested in the peace process in order to get his country out of its international isolation and to remove the pressure of the international community.”

Peace between Israel and Syria can only be reached, he said, when the Syrians start negotiating without preconditions and stop supporting terrorist groups that seek Israel’s destruction.

“It’s impossible to desire peace and at the same time support and arm Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad,” Mr. Ayalon said.

<!–
AdSys ad not found for news/world:instory –>

Mr. Ayalon also addressed today’s meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in Washington. He called the bond between the U.S. and Israel “a natural one” because both nations share the common goal of stopping Iran’s and Pakistan’s nuclear programs.

The Israelis, he said, likely would not act against Iran without coordinating operations with the U.S., and he expressed hope that time hasn’t run out for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Iran is a very weak state in a shaky situation,” Mr. Ayalon said. “They cannot withstand real sanctions; their banks and shipping companies are vulnerable. If the world insists on imposing strict sanctions against them, military action may not be necessary.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Previous articlePressure On Israel’s PM Before Talks With Obama
Next articlePoll: Most Israeli Arabs Reject Israel As A Jewish State
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.