Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Price of Not Making Peace: Israel is loosing its Appeal

Syria substituted the Israeli gateway to better relations with the U.S., by improving Syria's relations with pro U.S. countries like the EU, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in 2009. Meanwhile, the Syrians have left the door open for further unofficial peace negotiations with Israel, while responding to Israeli military preparations with a joint defense strategy with Iran.

Luring Syria away from Iran is highly unlikely with shy friendly nudges from the U.S. every now and then and without concrete advancements on the Syrian Israeli peace track. Advancements that are hard to commit to by the Israeli side since they involve the occupied Golan Heights.

Not committing to a comprehensive peace with its Arab neighbors, Israel is loosing its high tech edge to China, India, Turkey, EU who are increasing the number of trade agreements with Arab countries. The economic losses for Israel resulting from forgone high tech contracts could easily amount to a considerable sum, not to mention agricultural and low grade industry trade. Israeli high tech comparative advantage will slowly diminish not because Arab countries will catch up to Israel’s technological level but because there are numerous and ever increasing providers for high tech trade deals.

The liability of Israel threatening military strikes every now and then is burdening the leverage of U.S. diplomats who are involved in Mideast peace tracks. Furthermore the impact of such threats ( a trend since 2006) amounts to temporal political pressure which will detract from the good will established in prior unofficial peace talks in recent month.

Not committing to Peace has a high price

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