As if these past few weeks haven't rubbed the message in, it's worth repeating a fundamental truth, peace with dictators is a risky business. One can never be sure the peace treaty will hold when the regime changes. And giving away permanent assets certainly doesn't look so wise anymore to anyone (except Peres of course).
So you might ask, why I am I calling for Peace with Syria? Do I think it's possible, or even advisable?
I think we need to change the rules of the game.
For years we've heard that the price for peace with Syria is the Golan.
I think Israel needs to start publicly calling for peace with Syria, and we must make our preconditions clear.
Israel will not give up the Golan, that is the price Syria must pay for peace with Israel and for the benefits that peace with Israel will bring them.
Israel must demand that regime change takes place and democracy is introduced so we can make sure that any treaty we sign is (relatively) stable.
Peace with Israel is profitable for those that make peace with us. Egypt gained billions of dollars in aid and a local market for their gas. Jordan gained a tremendous amount of water. And those are just the obvious benefits that pop into mind.
Israel needs to stop thinking that only Israel gains from peace.
Yes, we do gain, but the benefits to these third-world Arab countries is even more.
When we start to acknowledge this basic fact, then we can stand our own and offer peace with Syria - on our terms.
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