Baker-Hamilton Group Seeks Israel’s Return of Golan for a Secure Peace with Syria
Five of the Iraq Study Group’s 79 recommendations released December 6, 2006 in Washington relate to the Middle East conflict.
There is no military solution to this conflict.
The vast majority of the Israeli body politic is tired of perpetual war.
No American administration – Democratic or Republican – will ever abandon Israel.
Political engagement and dialogue are essential in the Arab-Israeli dispute
The only basis for peace is that set forth in the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and in the principle of “land for peace.”
The only lasting and secure peace will be a negotiated peace.
This effort would strongly support moderate Arab governments in the region, especially the democratically elected government of Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas.
Recommendation 13: There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the US to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and President Bush’s June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
Recommendation 14: This effort should include – as soon as possible – the unconditional calling and holding of meetings under US or Quartet auspices between Israel and Lebanon and Syria on the one hand, and Israel and the Palestinians (who acknowledge Israel’s right to exist) on the other.
The purpose of these meetings would be to negotiate peace as was done at the Madrid Conference in 1991.
Recommendation 15: Concerning Syria, some elements should be:
Syria’s full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of Aug 2006 which provides the framework for Lebanon to regain sovereign control over its territory.
Syria’s full cooperation with all investigations into political assassinations in Lebanon, especially Rafiq Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.
A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hizballah and the use of Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and aid to Hizballah. (This step would do much to solve Israel’s problem with Hizballah.)
Syria’s use of its influence with Hamas and Hizballah for the release of the captured IDF soldiers.
A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the democratically elected government of Lebanon.
A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting through Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.
A Syrian commitment to help obtain from Hamas an acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist.
Greater Syrian efforts to seal its border with Iraq.
Recommendation 16: In exchange for these actions and in the context of a full and secure peace agreement, the Israelis should return the Golan Heights, with a US security guarantee for Israel that could include an international force on the border, including US troops if requested by both parties.
Recommendation 17: Concerning the Palestinian issue, elements of that negotiated peace should include:
Adherence to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of land for peace which are the only bases for achieving peace.
Strong support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA to take the lead in preparing the way for negotiations with Israel.
A major effort to move from current hostilities by consolidating the cease-fire reached between the Palestinians and Israelis in November 2006.
Support of a Palestinian national unity government.