Wednesday, May 21, 2008

  • Wednesday, May 21, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel and Syria have started "peace" talks in Turkey.

At the moment, Syria's stance against Israel is entirely passive-aggressive. Everything that it has been doing - arming Hezbollah, building a nuclear weapons site, hosting terror groups - has a veneer of deniability, no matter how implausible. Which means that any agreement to stop those activities is essentially unenforceable, because they cannot be officially monitored.

On the other hand, the Syrian/Israel border has been Israel's quietest border since 1973. Israel's annexation of the Golan was perhaps the best move Israel has ever done for its own security, and military experts are unanimous as to the huge strategic importance of the Golan to Israel.

In other words, Israel's "illegal occupation" of the Golan has created more real peace than any number of compromises that Israel has made for what the world calls "peace."

Any embarkation of negotiations - or indeed, and change of a status quo - needs to be preceded by a calculation of the upside versus the downside. There is no way that Syria will agree to a peace agreement without getting the Golan back, placing much of Israel's population - not to mention its water supply - at great risk.

What's the upside? Is there any realistic chance that Syria would ditch its Iranian sponsor, abandon Hezbollah, stop incitement against Israel and become friends with the US?

If Syria wanted to get into the US orbit, it could do it without the Golan, and Syria has no threats from Israel as long as it doesn't make any aggressive moves. Today's detente is better than any other realistic scenario.

This is yet another folly where the pursuit of a "peace process" is antithetical to real peace.

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