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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Weekly Commentary: "Peace Agreement" - Not "Peace" - a critical distinction

Weekly Commentary: "Peace Agreement" - Not "Peace" - a critical distinction
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 31 July 2008

"On the day the dream of peace comes true we will all stand and wonder: How
did we not achieve this sooner?"
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announcing he will not run in Kadima primaries -
30 July 2008

Israel is not negotiating "peace" with the Palestinians and Syrians, but
instead pieces of paper.

"Peace treaties", "peace agreements" and even "peace arrangements" all have
a place in policy discussions.

But policy arguments that posit "peace" as the pay-off are not just
intellectually dishonest.

They are dangerously deceptive.

The hyper-optimistic "best case scenario" assumptions that all so often
accompany the line of thinking that we are talking about achieving some kind
of idyllic "peace" serve to dangerously underestimate Israel's needs or the
risks Israel faces under the "peace" arrangements.

Consider that Shimon Peres genuinely argued at one point that Israel's
security interests could be secured in a deal with Syria if there were
classy hotels operating on the Golan Heights.

That's not to say that there isn't a value for agreements. Just that they
must be recognized for what they are and what they aren't.

Pieces of paper cannot guarantee peace. They can provide a framework for
relations. But if a party to a piece of paper determines its interests would
be best served by violating the piece of paper then that's exactly what they
will do.

That's the paradox of "land for piece of paper": the greater the Israeli
security concessions for a piece of paper, the greater the chances that the
Arabs ultimately turn their backs on the deal.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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