Israel: U.S. Promotes Talks With Syria

Stratfor is reporting on discussions being held today between Fred Hof, a special envoy working with George Mitchell and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, to discuss a renewed peace effort between Israel and Syria.  The very disturbing part of the report is this line: 

Hoff will give Netanyahu a map of the proposed future borders of Israel and security arrangements in the Golan.Hoff will then travel to Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Hof is the author of a monograph: Line of Battle, Border of Peace? The Line of June 4,1967  -- written in 1999 for the group Middle East Insight. Hof makes the case in that monograph that the pre-Six Day War border between Israel and  Syria , or some minor modification from that line, is an acceptable solution to the dispute between the two nations. Put another way, Hof argues that Syria is right, and Israel needs to surrender the Golan Heights.  

Syrian President Assad has been demanding that Israel agree to surrender the Golan before talks begin on any other arrangements (e.g security concerns Israel might have if Syria regained the Golan Heights from where they fired on Israel for 19 years between 1948 and 1967). The document Hof is bringing to Netanyahu, if consistent with his prior work, would seem to suggest that the US has fully accepted Syria's position for opening talks.

This would be a significant shift in the US position on the issue, but in keeping with the Obama policy shift with regard to Israel in all other areas -- the demand for a total freeze on all West Bank settlement construction, and what increasingly appears to be acceptance of Iran as a nuclear power.