For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA Weekly Commentary 02 September '10
There are two distinct roles for security guarantees:
#1. To actually effectively offset the degradation of security associated with various changes (force deployments, etc.) associated with implementation of an agreement.
#2. To placate those who believe that such an offset is required.
There is a critical difference between the two roles.
In the first case there is a genuine and serious interest in making sure that such "offsets" are both robust and permanent in terms of efficacy.
In the second case the offsets are considered only window dressing and their viability and effectiveness are not actually relevant.
It is crucial to keep in mind that many of the Israelis involved in analyzing security guarantees are confident that if we enter into a peace agreement with our neighbors that, as Shimon Peres put it, the peace itself will be our best security guarantee. That once we make a permanent agreement that our neighbors will honor it in perpetuity.
Again, we aren't talking about just professors or politicians. Nor are we talking only about retired brass in the Council to Support Any and All Withdrawals (aka The Council for Peace and Security). There are people in key positions in the various branches of Israel's security apparatus today who also share this belief.
Why is it crucial?
Because even if you think that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no illusions about our neighbors, his decision process may rely on the analysis of people who share this secular messianic belief in the power of a final status agreement. It can be even worse: some of them may end up participating in the teams preparing Israel's negotiating positions and even representing Israel at the negotiating table.
Here are just a few things that those who consider security arrangements as no more than window dressing may opt to ignore:
1. For every security gizmo Israel may receive there is ultimately either a technique or different gizmo developed to neutralize the security gizmo's efficacy.
2. A third party force will ultimately give priority to the interests of the third party over those of the force's mission.
3. A sovereign Palestinian state created as a result of the signing of agreement "x" would remain a sovereign state even if it violated agreement "x" or even explicitly renounced it.
4. Historically, Israel has never ultimately been able to keep a force deployed in an area that does not also have a civilian Israeli population presence.
Assuming that Mahmoud Abbas doesn't bolt the negotiating table in the coming weeks, we will be witness to many efforts to sell to Netanyahu, and in turn the Israeli public, security window dressing that ignores these and other critical consideration..
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"