.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Peace is not the Arab goal

"There is no escaping the fact that the day will come when we will free the Golan, through peace or through war," Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday.

He added: "We have our principles, and whoever abides by them will not constitute a problem for us."

According to Assad, "From the war of Palestine (in 1948) to the occupation of the Golan (in the Six Day War – R.N.) people are becoming more hostile towards Israel. There may come a generation that is unwilling to talk peace.

"There is now a resurgence of the idea of resistance. Israel is advancing in a direction that goes against its interests, and eventually all people are moving towards resistance, which is certainly in the interest of the Arabs."
This points to a fundamental difference between Israel and most of its neighbors. To Israel, the major goal is peace. The means to get to that goal is negotiations, concessions, and sometimes through shows of strength, but the ultimate goal is to live in peace with her neighbors.

To Arabs, though, peace is not the goal. The goal is land, concessions, "Palestinian rights," apologies, compensation, and a whole host of other demands - but the end-goal is not to have peace.

For Israel, concessions are a way to bring peace. For the Arabs, the pretense of "peace" is a way to wrangle a never-ending stream of concessions.

Which is, as Assad implies, exactly how they view war and terrorism ("resistance.")

What kind of a peace can be expected when one side views it as a tactic and not as a goal?