Apparently the US is stepping up its rhetoric in discouraging Israel from even exploring Syria’s overtures to peace talks. Ha’aretz reports that the Israeli government is split:
Israeli officials, including those in the intelligence community, are divided over the degree to which Syrian President Bashar Assad is serious and sincere in his call for peace talks with Israel.
One view describes Assad’s call as a propaganda campaign, and insists that the Syrian leader is not serious. Among those holding this view is Mossad chief Meir Dagan.
In Military Intelligence the view differs. There are those who say that Assad is serious in his call for peace talks, but also say that this does not mean that those talks would be easy for Israel. They even suggest that there is a very good chance that the talks would fail.
I’ve mentioned this before and still think that peace talks between Israel and Syria would be a good thing. Furhtermore, although I have my doubts about the exact offer and whether Assad will accept it, I have the feeling that Assad is ready to make a deal if he can get the Golan Heights back, maybe even if it means turning the land into a demilitarized park under Syrian sovereignty but open to Israeli picnickers.