The New York Times today (Jan. 17, 2007) ran a story about talks between Israel and Syria, or more correctly, between Israelis and Syrians.
It ran on an inside page deep in the international report, which is where it belonged.
The piece, typical of the New York Times bias, told about the fact that there were talks, and that no government officials on either side were involved. Both governments issued non-denial denials that would have made the Nixon White House proud. If you don't know what a non-denial denial is, read All the President's Men.
First of all, I don't believe for a minute that these were private talks. People who do private talks like this want recognition, like the Israeli idiots who cooked up the Geneva talks of 2003. These guys worked in secret. Government talks work in secret.
Be that as it may, the Times story told about the talks, the history of the Golan Heights and how Israel came to acquire it, some small stuff about how important it is go Israel, like most of its wine crop and a lot of tourism (Israel gave back oil wells to Egypt, but never, never should give back vineyards on the heights.)
It also talked about what Syria would get out of this deal -- the heights in five to 15 years. It didn't talk about what Israel would get. There wasn't anything to talk about, because, like most of these deals, Israel got nothing.
It's like the father in those cell-phone spots on television. The kids get fancy Internet gadgets. And as the father says: "What did dad get? Dad got hosed."
Israel got hosed in those deals. Oh, yeah, Syria agreed to normal diplomatic relations. Big deal.
That's the New York Times bias. Israel is supposed to give and give and get back nothing except promises. And those promises turn into bombs and bullets because of some imagined slight.
But according to the Times, Israel isn't supposed to get anything back. It's just supposed to give and give in exchange for some mumbles that are promises (thanks, Paul Simon).
It's getting a little old. Syria should keep its promises.
And Israel should keep the Golan.