Baker Report Demands Israel Give Away Golan Heights!
Former Secretary of State James Baker has NEVER been a friend to Israel. This has been his position in the past and as we can plainly see from this past week's report, it still is. I can't help but link his name to the baker of Gen. 40!
The comprehensive Baker-Hamilton report, which primarily addresses the situation in Iraq, was prepared by former Secretary of State James Baker III and a former Democratic congressman, Lee Hamilton. It states that if the United States does not take a more leading role in the Israel-Arab conflict, there is no hope of America achieving its goals in the region. The report calls for a peace conference similar to the Madrid Conference in 1991 — a Middle East summit that would be aimed at solving the conflict between Israel, the PA (Palestinian Authority), Syria and Lebanon. In addition to an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan, the report calls upon Israel to recognize the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The report demands that Syria halt its interference in Lebanon's affairs, as well as cease its pro-terrorist policies on behalf of ongoing Hezbollah anti-Israel operations in southern Lebanon. It calls on Israel to withdraw from the Golan in exchange for a comprehensive peace treaty with Damascus that would enjoy American backing.
The authors say that the U.S. would provide security guarantees and an offer of troops in the Golan to help compensate Israel for the loss of the strategically vital area. The main recommendations of the report deal with U.S. policy in Iraq, and call for shifting the primary role of American forces there from fighting to training the Iraqi military. The panel also recommends diminishing the number of American soldiers deployed in Iraq. The report described the situation in Iraq as "dire" and "deteriorating."
The Palestinians and Syrians Love the Baker Report
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara expressed his country's willingness to enter into peace negotiations with Israel. A-Shara stated that Damascus is willing to reach an agreement with Israel, with the understanding the Golan Heights must be returned to Syria as part of such an agreement.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat welcomed the U.S. commission's call for a comprehensive peace. "We welcome this report, and we hope the U.S. administration will translate it into deeds. Our region needs peace and dialogue," Erekat said Thursday.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, many Arabs interpreted the panel's bleak assessment of President Bush's Iraq policies as proof of Washington's failure in the region, and some warned the report could fuel insurgents and others vying to fill Iraq's security vacuum. "This report is a recognition of the limitation of American power," said Abdel Moneim Said, head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic studies in Cairo. "In the short term, America will highly suffer the loss of its reputation and credibility in the region."
The Baker-Hamilton report was greeted enthusiastically by leading Palestinian terrorists, who said it proves that "Islamic resistance" works and America can ultimately be defeated. "The report proves that this is the era of Islam and of jihad," Abu Ayman, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in northern Samaria, told Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily.
Israel Responds to the Baker Report
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday rejected the Baker-Hamilton Study Group's conclusions that Israel must talk to Syria and solve its conflict with the Palestinians to help the Bush administration stabilize Iraq.
"Syria is not about to stop supporting Mideast extremists, and Iraq is not linked to the Israel-Palestinian issue," Olmert said. Still, he added that Israel wants to restart peace talks with the Palestinians "with all our might."
According to former Israeli U.N. Ambassador Dr. Dore Gold, the report indicates that American involvement in Iraq will diminish in the coming two years. He called the American demand that Israel retreat from the Golan Heights "worrisome."