Signals From Two Old Foes

In interviews with TIME, Syria's President and Israel's Prime Minister discuss their hopes, fears, doubts and differences regarding peace negotiations between nations that have been bitter enemies for

Is it time, at long last, to be truly optimistic about progress in the Middle East peace talks? To be sure, no one is predicting a reprise of the Camp David negotiations, which led to 1979's historic pact between Israel and Egypt. Yet in words -- both spoken and left unsaid -- if not in deeds, Syria and Israel, those two most contentious of antagonists, appear to be sending each other tiny signals of encouragement.

Consider recent events in Lebanon, which is effectively under Syrian control. Earlier this month, the Israelis displayed relative restraint in responding to rocket assaults on its...

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