Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "Syrian President Bashar Assad told Der Spiegel that he was interested in peace and had no desire to wipe Israel off the map. Do you agree with Israeli officials who dismissed the peace overture as 'double talk', or do you believe Israel should respond by initiating talks with Syria?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #3: Should Israel initiate talks with Syria?"
I agree with those Israelis who dismiss these overtures as meaningless. Off and on since 1991, when the Syrian leadership has perceived itself in trouble, it has turned to negotiations with Israel as a way out of its difficulties.
Until there is a change of heart in Syria, as indicated by normal relations and other signals, diplomacy is basically useless or even counterproductive. As I argued in the 'Post' in early August, a better approach is to hold Damascus responsible for troubles coming out of Lebanon. (September 26, 2006)