Israeli minister: Send me to Syria


An Israeli Arab member of Ehud Olmert’s Cabinet offered to serve as a peace envoy to Syria.

Science, Culture and Sport minister Raleb Majadele told Ha’aretz that he would be willing to travel to Damascus to sound out Syrian President Bashar Assad, who recently called for resuming peace talks with Jerusalem while hinting that war could be the alternative.

Assad has demanded that any new talks be preconditioned on Israel’s return of the Golan Heights to Syria. Olmert has refused preconditions to any talks.

Majadele, the first Muslim Arab minister in an Israeli government, indicated he would support a Golan handover. “The price of war is always higher than the price of peace – as high as that can be,” he said.

Olmert’s office had no immediate comment on Majadele’s proposal.

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