By Gideon Levy
"What do you call a rejection of peace that is liable to lead to war? What is the term for a state that is not even willing to sit at the negotiating table with the head of a state who publicly issues an explicit peace proposal? If there is a positive angle to the Israeli refusal to consider the Syrian president's proposals, it is the exposure of the bitter truth: Israel does not want peace with Syria - period. No linguistic trick or diplomatic contortion can change this unequivocal fact. We will no longer be able to declare that we are seeking peace with our neighbors; we are not turning toward them for peace. In the Middle East, a new rejectionist axis has formed: Israel and the United States, which is saying "no" to Syria. Not only is Iran endangering peace in the region, Israel is too. It would be best for us to admit this.
In a situation in which the prime minister is too cowardly to respond to the Syrian proposal, a cry of protest should have arisen from those who wish to prevent the next war, especially after the last one. If the IDF reservists and the rest of the protest movements want to also do something to prevent the next war and not just rummage through the previous one, they should issue a determined cry to say "yes" to peace with Syria. Syria's conditions are clear and simple, and even just - peace for land - and the impression is that there is a partner in Damascus. A meeting with the foreign minister of Oman is good for making headlines and a secret meeting with a Saudi prince sparks the imagination, but peace must be made with Syria and the Palestinians. Syria said yes, Israel said no."