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Israel Dangles Cooperation, Rather Than Land, in Pursuit of Peace

Nov 15, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
Egyptian prisoners of war holding their hands aloft after being rounded up by Israeli forces in the Sinai Desert following the Six-Day War in 1967.

Egyptian prisoners of war hold their hands aloft after being rounded up by Israeli forces in the Sinai Desert following the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is currently pursuing a transactional approach to diplomacy, but that will only work as long as it has something worth offering to other countries in the region.

(CENTRAL PRESS/Getty Images)

New times call for new ideas: Where once Israel traded land for peace, it's now hoping to peddle regional cooperation for peace, all in a bid to finally gain (more) acceptance in the neighborhood. But while this strategy is likely to give Israel a modicum of greater acceptance, the country's transactional approach will encounter some formidable ideological barriers with big states like Turkey (in terms of normalization) and Iran (eventual recognition). Moreover, a transactional approach will only work as long as potential counterparts see value in working with Israel: After all, other technologically advanced countries with advanced intelligence capabilities -- and none of the baggage associated with the Palestinian question -- could also woo Middle Eastern nations, while some in the region could eventually come to view Iran as less of a threat. In such a case, Israel would find itself once again at the drawing board, looking for a...

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