Ehud Chamberlain?

Israel and Syria have been engaged in talks concerning a possible land-for-peace deal with Golan Heights.

I’m just waiting for John McCain and George Bush to denounce the Prime Minister of Israel as an appeaser. Obviously, he doesn’t understand anything about what happens when you negotiate with terrorists.

I’m actually a little skeptical that this track will work. It involves giving up something very concrete for a promise from a party that has not shown itself to be trustworthy. People forget just how hard it was with Egypt back in the 1970’s, and there, Anwar Sadat had taken enormous political risks that convinced many Israelis of his sincerity and commitment. I hope I am wrong.

That said, it quite literally does not hurt to try, and it underlines just how nonsensical the McCain-Bush critique of diplomacy is.

It also shows just where this critique comes from: right on cue, the Israeli right wing is denouncing the talks, arguing that Syria is part of the “axis of evil.”

Note to the media and most importantly to the Jewish community: the McCain/Bush position is not a “pro-Israel” position: it is a pro-Likud position. And there is a very substantial difference.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.