Published September 14, 201t on

The unthinkable is happening, and it’s time to build on it.

After Israel traded Sinai for “cold peace” with Egypt, quietly entering a warm alliance on defense and energy with the most populous Arab state, it was impossible for Arab countries to make war on Israel. But another Arab neighbor had proposed peace earlier.

Largely forgotten, in 1949 under the Kurd Husni al-Zaim, Syria signed a cease-fire and offered peace to Israel. But he was quickly deposed and executed. A fierce foe thereafter, Syria was forced by Egypt’s peace agreement to accept a belligerent cease-fire. Jordan made peace, resulting in beneficial business agreements like its purchase of Israel’s natural gas and the mutual construction of a desalination facility, with Palestinians sharing the potable water.

Almost miraculously, Israel and two Arab states are allies. Their peace endured the ascendancy in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ mother. Peace with Egypt turned frigid during the Brotherhood’s rule, but it held.

Read the full article to find out about how Syria’s civil war and the Islamic State have opened a regrettable, but possibly helpful path, for Israel, with the help of Egypt and Jordan, to seek peace with its Sunni neighbors.