NO TALKS….Via Josh, Haaretz reports that Condoleezza Rice has told the Israelis to keep Syria in the deep freeze:

When Israeli officials asked Secretary Rice about the possibility of exploring the seriousness of Syria in its calls for peace talks, her response was unequivocal: Don’t even think about it.

….Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has so far adopted the strict American position not to respond to the Syrian feelers.

On the other hand, at the Foreign Ministry and within the defense establishment, there is a greater degree of openness to the offers, and the overall view is that the door should not be closed entirely to the Syrians. Similarly, many believe that the Syrian offers should be tested for their sincerity.

Nope. Can’t have that. Apparently the Bush administration view is not that making concessions would be too big a reward for Syria’s bad behavior. It’s not even that talks would be too big a reward. Nor is it that talks with the Israelis — no Americans involved! — would be too big a reward. No, the American position is that even exploratory talks would be a bridge too far. Stick that in your hookah and smoke it.

However, in more positive news, Haaretz also reports that 10,000 tons of apples will be delivered to Syria from the Golan Heights. What this has to do with the rest of the story I couldn’t tell you.

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