A raft of reassuring statements are coming out of Israel.
As the tension between the US and Syria continues to lessen – Condoleeza Rice and Walid Mouallem met in Egypt last week – it seems Israel is realising that it also needs to be less hostile.
The head of Israel’s National Security Council Ilan Mizrahi (does he have Iranian roots?) told the parliament that “Syria’s call for a renewal of the peace process is genuine”.
Unpopular, embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – who can surely only survive a matter of weeks in the job – said he is committed to studying the Syrian option. Last year, when his defence minister and foreign minister openly called for talks with Syria, after the attacks on Lebanon, Olmert flatly rejected it.
Syria has been offering peace talks for 7 years – it seems now that Israel is under pressure, it is finally willing to listen.
Israel also reassured Syria it is not planning to attack: their ambassador to Washington Sallai Meridor said they have no “offensive intentions”.