After You, Hafez

Israel ponders whether Syria has spoken the words to break their stalemate in peace negotiations

In the Middle East peace always comes down to specific words, phrases that over the decades have acquired so much significance that for both sides to utter them is to change history. Between Syria and Israel, the game turns on an after-you-Alphonse test of who will speak the key words first. Before Israel will agree to withdraw from the strategic Golan Heights it captured from Syria in 1967, Jerusalem must first hear "full peace" and "normal relations" from Syria. Before Syria will say those words, it wants to hear from Israel "complete withdrawal."

Bill Clinton believes that stalemate was broken last...

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