Shibley Telhami is Anwar Sadat Chair of Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Although suspended, the peace talks between Israel and Syria represent the most significant new development in Mid-East peace negotiations. President Hafez al-Assad of Syria comes to these talks with clear memory of the groundbreaking quality of Anwar Sadat's deliberations with Menachem Begin twenty years ago. Ehud Barak is just as inspired by the example of Yitzhak Rabin. Yet both men are challenged by conservative constituencies that will make necessary sacrifice difficult. Shibley Telhami describes the forces at work.