The peace process is irrelevant if Iran gets the Bomb.

A JPOST editorial challenges the notion that the peace process is necessary to isolate I(ran.

[..]There is a problem, however, with the American theory: It suffers from a high degree of circularity. Essentially, it proposes that fear of Iran is producing an opportunity, while taking advantage of the opportunity will itself address the Iranian threat.

In fact, making peace between Arabs and Israelis, as desirable as that is in any case, will not in and of itself lessen the growing danger from Iran. If anything, the arrow of causality points much more strongly in the other direction: Arab-Israeli peace depends on preventing the current Iranian regime from becoming a nuclear power.

This is so because if that regime is allowed to go nuclear, all of the most radical forces in the region – from Hizbullah to Hamas to al-Qaida – will suddenly enjoy a tailwind from Teheran. For the first time, the world’s most dangerous terrorist regimes and groups will have their own nuclear umbrella. The opportunity that the US has identified and hopes to take advantage of will instead be brought to a close, as Arab regimes are forced to accommodate Iran rather than the US.

Accordingly, the idea of setting a deadline for wrapping up an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians is missing something as important: a deadline for turning back the Iranian threat.

While advances in Arab-Israeli diplomacy may temporarily show momentum for the West and increase Iran’s isolation, any fruits of this diplomacy will unravel if Iran is simultaneously allowed to go nuclear. Genuine Arab-Israeli peace means permanently giving up the quest to destroy Israel. Which Arab state would have the courage to do that at a moment when Iran is becoming the dominant regional power? Thus the process that Annapolis seeks to launch will be inherently conditional on Western success against the Iranian challenge. All nations that sincerely wish for progress toward Arab-Israeli peace must understand this. The failure to date of the US and Europe – not to mention the UN Security Council – to bring their full economic and diplomatic strength to bear against Iran first and foremost threatens the security of the entire West, including, of course, Israel.

If this failure continues, the result will be a much more dangerous world, characterized by a global nuclear arms race, growing terrorism, sky-high oil prices, waning Western influence, perhaps culminating in a full-blown war. In such a world, the collapse of the Arab-Israeli peace process will be one of the lesser tragedies resulting from the West’s refusal to defend itself. By the same token, if the Iranian challenge is successfully met over the year ahead, this same year could indeed become a significant one in the quest for peace.
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November 21, 2007 | Comments Off on The peace process is irrelevant if Iran gets the Bomb.

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