CONFLICT RESOLUTION VS. BRINKSMANSHIP - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Sam Kahl
    • 29.12.11 | 18:00 (IST)

    As you know, underneath the world of appearances lay active political and historical undercurrents, cross-currents and undertows. To be wise, the careful citizen must learn to distinguish pretexts from real objectives, operatives from disinterested investigators, psychological war-making from objective news, fantasy from real-life consequences. In the present circumstance, I can’t help but go back to recent history, to a near breakthrough between Israel and Syria mediated by Turkey, and to a state visit to Israel by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Back then, my imagination explored the potential for back-channel communication between Israel and Iran, first with Russia taking on the role of Turkey, second by leveraging a breakthrough with Syria. Moving ahead in time, weighing this kind of statecraft in which Tzipi Livni is prolific against continuing with present statecraft, divergent consequences are unmistakable. I keep two documents close at hand: One is the Oslo Accord containing provisions for a productive economic partnership under Article XI (“both parties view the multilateral working groups as an appropriate instrument for promoting a ‘Marshall Plan’”) and Annex III (“Protocol on Israeli-Palestinian Co-operation in Economic and Development Programs”). It is not simply that specific partnership that holds my interest, but extending that program across the region, into Pakistan, with unlikely partnerships emerging to advance the work and lives of people. Work is the fire for forging meaningful alliances and friendship from the mere promissory notes of state-to-state treaties. Two is Newsweek’s April 15, 2002 issue, with teenagers Ayat Al Akhras and Rachel Levy, dead and gone from the life of the living. I went back to that article when a nihilistic young man took the life of Christina-Taylor Green, nine years old, in Tuscon, Arizona a year ago. Last of all, I find it noteworthy that Ehud Barak has said that if he were Iran, he’d want nuclear weapons. Is this subliminal empathy speaking – empathy for a nation that, like Israel, has been opposed, isolated, undermined and demonized to the point of pushing it like a coiled spring to maximum tension?

    from the article: Mossad chief: Nuclear Iran not necessarily existential threat to Israel
    First published 01:23 29.12.11 | Last updated 01:23 29.12.11
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