Remember the peace process? After 20 odd years of peace-processing this may come as a surprise to you, but peace does not include missile attacks and suicide bombings. It doesn’t even mean war, incitement and demonisation.
Isn’t that weird?
Who would have thought peace is not war? I understand this is a confusing idea for most people. After all it was less than two years ago that we were introduced to the knife wielding peace-activist happily using iron bars to explain their interpretation of maritime laws to Israeli commando’s. But you know what? 20 years after the Oslo accords, maybe it is time we face the truth: There is very little peace in this process.
I know many people will disagree and a million bloodthirsty humanitarians will call us racists and Nazi’s for even contemplating the notion that peace is the absence of hostilities. They will tell us we are mean and afraid and that our fears belong to the past. Anyway, don’t we know that the best guarantee for Israel’s security is to have Syrian tanks on the Golan and Egyptian forces at striking distance from Tel Aviv? Let’s just have Hamas threaten the center of Israel with missiles from the Judean hills and all will be well.
I’m not really sure it’s worth finding out if this theory works, though I can understand why to some people it may seem appealing. However it seems to me that the only place where Israel is enjoying permanent quiet is the border that has not yet been peace processed into havoc. Syrians who -perhaps temporarily- freed themselves from the brutal regime of Bashar Assad burn Iranian flags, not Israeli. Meanwhile Egyptian masses are looking forward to teach the Zionist dogs a lesson. Yet there is a peace accord with Egypt while we are officially at war with Syria.
I wonder how the Israeli left feels about all that. Do they feel frustrated we missed a perfectly good chance to trade the Golan Heights for a deception? By this time the north of Israel could have been in flames. Missiles could have been raining on the Galilee, we could have called it peace and everybody would condemn us again for responding disproportionately. Assuming of course we still could respond. Who knows how many wars this peace agreement could have spawned? It goes to show how unfortunate it is that Israel is a democracy. You try to commit national suicide and then elections come around and ruin everything.
Meanwhile it is becoming increasingly clear that there was never any peace agreement with Egypt. The Camp David accords were a deal with a certain regime, not a nation. The nation, after rejecting the regime which limited its freedom, associated the agreement with Israel as part of Mubarak’s rule in a similar way that hostility to Israel is associated in Syria with the regime of Assad and his allies. It is not unthinkable that a free Syria will hate its oppressors more then they will hate us. What if with Assad gone, the Iranian regimes collapses? It’s likely we will find ourself at peace with these nations without having to do anything. While Egypt, which got back the Sinai, boils with hostility. Does that not make the peace process the worst strategic blunder in Israel’s history?
Maybe sometimes we should consider the long term perspective and realize that ‘peace now’ just means ‘war tomorrow’. Was it really so strange to assume Mubarak might get old and loose his grip on power? I know hindsight is 20/20 and the death of Arafat took the entire world by surprise. But the notion of mortality shouldn’t have been a novelty to the people living in the second part of the 20th century. Sure, Ariel Sharon certainly may have confused some people by refusing to die after his obituaries were written. But the changes sweeping through the Middle East shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. All dictatorships eventually collapse. Sharon’s incapacitation doesn’t matter because he was the leader of a democracy. That’s why we are permanent, and they aren’t.
So, what’s next for the peace process? When will it strike again? I’m not sure the Palestinians can offer any hope. We are quickly running out of time to sign yet another catastrophic deal with them. If we don’t act now and the Arab storm hits the Hashemites in Jordan we will have to face the question why a country within the historic mandate of Palestine, ruled by a population which is overwhelmingly Palestinian, either needs a twin or to extend into the West Bank of the Jordan river. How many Palestines are enough? The last thing we need is for Arab states to start multiplying. They’re trouble enough as it is.