ZIONIST UNILATERAL WITHDRAWAL

NOVANEWS
Summary: 

Through nearly four decades, the circumstances of its creation and existence have forced the modern state of Israel into a deep-seated preoccupation with security, the precondition for its survival. As the nature of the threats to its continued existence changed at various junctures between 1947 and the present, so have the military and security doctrines guiding national policy. Israel now stands at another turning point, and the time has come for a new security doctrine, a strategy resting upon long-standing principles, but significantly modified to meet the circumstances of 1985 and beyond.

Amos Perlmutter is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at American University, and Editor of the Journal of Strategic Studies. He is the author of numerous books on the Middle East, including the recently published Israel: The Partitioned State 1900-1984.
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Through nearly four decades, the circumstances of its creation and existence have forced the modern state of Israel into a deep-seated preoccupation with security, the precondition for its survival. As the nature of the threats to its continued existence changed at various junctures between 1947 and the present, so have the military and security doctrines guiding national policy. Israel now stands at another turning point, and the time has come for a new security doctrine, a strategy resting upon long-standing principles, but significantly modified to meet the circumstances of 1985 and beyond.
At the start, Israel’s security doctrine was basically defensive. Firmly established by David Ben-Gurion, it reflected the lessons learned from the 1948-49 war for independence and the physical realities which existed thereafter. Security policy changed dramatically, however, in the wake of the triumphant 1967 war. Israel then confronted new borders, conquered territory, an emerging Palestinian nationalism and, within the country, the birth of a dangerous spirit of annexationism. The rise of Menachem Begin’s Likud government in 1977 and the elevation of Ariel Sharon to minister of defense in 1981 marked another sharp shift in the security concept of the state, a doctrine nakedly offensive in nature that would end in the creeping disaster of Lebanon.
My aim here is to propose a new security policy that suits the conditions of the late 1980s, that offers a pragmatic way to confront the Palestinian issue constructively while ensuring the security of Israel’s eastern frontier. It is a policy that draws upon concepts advanced (prematurely, as it turned out) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In brief, it calls for a unilateral withdrawal of Israels military and administrative occupation forces from the West Bank, coupled with boundary modifications to satisfy Israel’s security needs, and the establishment of an autonomy area by the local Palestinian population. The policy is incremental, dealing with the facts on the ground, uninhibited by the somnolent prospects for peace treaties with the surrounding Arab states.
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Amos Perlmutter

The Oslo accord has failed. Battered by a wave of fundamentalist terrorism, Israelis are ready to elect a hard-line Likud government, while many frustrated Palestinians are spurning the plo in favor of the Islamic extremists of Hamas. Locked in a political embrace, ploChairman Yasir Arafat and Israeli PrimeMinister Yitzhak Rabin are dragging each other down. The process may stagger on, but it will never yield peace.
ReadEssay, Fall 1982The Middle East: A Turning Point?: An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Harold H. Saunders
Given the summer’s immersion in day-to-day death and destruction in Lebanon, we need to begin putting the Israeli-Palestinian War of 1982 in larger perspective. For better or worse, it will mark a turning point in the history of Israel, in the course of Arab-Israeli relations, in U.S.-Israeli relations, in the political character and orientation of important Middle Eastern states, and in the U.S. position in that critical area.
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Essay, Apr 1973

Israel in Search of Lasting Peace Golda Meir
Twenty-FIVE years ago the Jewish state proclaimed its independence in a part of Palestine. Six months earlier, the General Assembly of the United Nations had recommended its establishment. This act of historic justice strove to fulfill the earlier pledge of the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate which gave recognition not only to an immediate Jewish need but also to the principle of a Jewish right to national self- expression. Zionism, as an aspiration, is as old as the Exile. As a political movement it goes back a hundred years. The vision of a Jewish return to the original homeland is far older than the solemn international commitments of 25 and 55 years ago. An independent Jewish state arose as the culmination of a long process of national liberation, which eventually won formal sanction through the moral sense of the community of nations.
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