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December 14, 2015 9:21 pm

Kerry Claims Assad Was Ready to Make Peace With Israel Before Arab Spring

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Syrian President Bashar Assad was ready to make peace with Israel in exchange for the Golan Heights before Arab Spring protests began to spread in 2011, Secretary of State John Kerry revealed in this month’s New Yorker.

Speaking to the New Yorker along with his wife Teresa Heinz, Kerry said Assad had declared his willingness to sign a peace deal with Israel in a letter he sent to the secretary of state in 2010. Assad was ready to recognize the Jewish state and open an embassy there, he said.

“And the proof of that is a letter I still have that he wrote and signed,” said Kerry.

In exchange, Syria expected financial, medical and technological assistance from the US. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reluctant, however, said the secretary of state, who recalled the prime minister as adamantly insisting, “‘I just cant.'”

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This account of Netanyahu’s response to an overture from Assad, through the Americans, contradicts a 2012 report by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot, which first broke news of the 2010 Syrian-Israeli peace talks.

According to the report, Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak were ready to exchange the land captured in 1967 in the Golan Heights for a peace deal, although this was later denied by the prime minister’s office.

Regardless, the talks ended forever by March 2011, when protests began in Syria.

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  • brenrod

    Kerry is insane. Is he saying that Israel should give the golan to assad? If Israel had done that there would now be terrorists firing on the galilee again like before 67. Israel needs to take and keep more territory and expel anti semites and terrorists. Kerry is a nut.

  • ART

    What were the rest of assads terms?? What guarantees would Israel get?? Can you imagine if Israel had surrendered the Golan and who would be sitting on the heights today.
    Where is the letter today what were the terms. Yet again this miserable administration manages to blame Israel. Remember when Hillary told us the assad was a westernized partner for peace and could be trusted?

  • robert sklar

    This story is not newsworthy. Kerry is a provocateur whose assessments have no historical integrity.Reporting on them serves no useful purpose.The Golan was part of the Palestine Mandate and under the Article 5 of the mandate and could not be transferred. The British transfer of the Golan to France in exchange for Mosul province in Iraq was a violation of both the Palestine and Syrian mandates. A Syrian offer to exchange the Golan for a cessation of hostilities was not an offer for peace; rather it was an attempt at extortion and a declaration of ongoing war. The kind of diplomacy used by the Nazis prior to WWII. The only point here worth contemplating is that Israel countenanced the offer to appease international pressure, giving the offer a false legitimacy.

  • robert sklar

    This story is not newsworthy. Kerry is a provocateur whose assessments have no historical integrity.Reporting on them is serves no useful purpose.The Golan was part of the Palestine Mandate and under the Article 5 of the mandate and could not be transferred. The British transferred the Golan to France in exchange for Mosul province in Iraq was a violation of both the Palestine and Syrian mandates. A Syrian offer to exchange the Golan for a cessation of hostilities was not an offer for peace; rather it was an attempt at extortion and a declaration of ongoing war. The kind of diplomacy used by the Nazis prior to WWII. The only point here worth contemplating is that Israel countenanced the offer to appease international pressure, giving the offer a false legitimacy.

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