In This Review

Israel and Syria: Peace and Security on the Golan
Israel and Syria: Peace and Security on the Golan
By Aryeh Shalev
Westview Press, 1994, 250 pp

If Israel and Syria ever get down to the hard bargaining over security issues that will have to precede a peace treaty, this study could serve as a handbook for negotiators on both sides, as well as American mediators. The author participated in the post-armistice negotiations with Syria in the early 1950s and has not lost his belief that agreements can be reached between the two countries. He provides useful background about the past, including the frank admission that Israel was responsible for some of the border incidents in the early 1950s. Based on his earlier experience, Shalev warns against leaving issues vague, subject to later dispute. He insists on clear principles of peace, withdrawal, and detailed security arrangements, including possibly American troops on the Golan, implemented over a period of many years. While most of the analysis is well founded, the author seems a bit optimistic about the prospect for an eventual "warm peace" between Syria and Israel and may overestimate the Syrian tolerance for seeing an agreement implemented over a long period. Still, if the two sides are ready for peace -- and Shalev assumes they are without quite providing compelling evidence -- they will probably end up with an agreement that is not far from the one he has in mind. A timely, straightforward study, refreshingly free from propaganda.