War machine. Assad
Photo: AP

Peace now, with Syria

Op-ed: Graves of Yom Kippur War fatalities reminder of why we need peace with Damascus

One needs to be nuts in order to endorse peace negotiations with Syria at this time, no? Today, with turmoil all around us, as Egypt burns, Libya is in flames, and the same is happening in Yemen, Oman, and Bahrain? Right now? After all, what’s so wrong with the quiet that prevails on the Syrian border?


For 37 years now there have been no clashes with the Syrian army on the Golan Heights. No casualties were reported and their soldiers (or so we believe) are terrified in their own bunkers, fearing the rush of Israeli tanks into Syria. So why now of all times?


The answer is as ancient as the well-known dictum “if not now, then when?” There has always been something that prompted this eternal question. So why now? The answer is that now of all times Syrian President, Bashar Assad is proposing peace talks. Now, because Syria possesses a war machine equipped with thousands of missiles that cover every inch of the State of Israel; there is no guarantee that our Air Force would be able to neutralize them, certainly not in the first hours of any war.


Now, because Syria seeks to build nuclear facilities that will produce nuclear bombs. Now, because if and when heavy fire starts in the north, it will be too late and all of us shall longingly recall, as happened after the Yom Kippur War, how the State of Israel refused the peace proposals made by Egyptian President Sadat (these same demands were accepted fully years later, and we returned the entire Sinai peninsula to Egypt.) Some 2,700 graves at our cemeteries are the silent testament of that terrible failure.


People are asking: What’s a peace treaty signed on paper worth? Look at what’s happening in Egypt and Jordan at this time. What will prevent the Egyptian and Jordanian armies from embarking on war? The answer is that almost any war starts from a state of calm or peace – and despite all the troubles, peace with Egypt has lasted for 32 years now, and peace with Jordan had been in place for 16 years. These peace treaties (touch wood) have stood the test of time thus far.


Those who wish to see one of these days a giant Islamist state that starts in Iran, continues through Iraq and Syria, takes over Jordan and almost touches the Jerusalem Mountains should not agree to any peace process with the Syrians. You think such enemy state, from Tehran to Jericho, is an idiotic delusion? Perhaps. But what if it isn’t?



פרסום ראשון: 03.01.11, 18:14
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