Defending the Holy Land
A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Download PDF (45.7 KB)
PART I. FOUNDATIONS
1 The Israeli Security Puzzle: Conceptions, Approaches, Paradoxes
Download PDF (537.0 KB)
On May 12, 1948, a group of nine men and one woman met in Tel Aviv to decide on the establishment of a new state. Around them, a ferocious civil war had been going on for the past six months. The British mandate was to expire in two days. The ten members of the Provisional State Council of the Jewish Agency faced a tough dilemma. The United Nations (UN) resolution of November 29, 1947, decreed that Palestine...
PART II. THE USE OF FORCE
2 The Sinai War: The Making of the Second Round
Download PDF (423.6 KB)
On October 29, 1956, Israel carried out an unprovoked attack on Egypt. This attack was coordinated with Great Britain and France, according to a predesigned plan that had been signed at a conference held in the city of Sèvres near Paris six days earlier. This plan entailed the following scenario. In the first stage, the IDF would raid deep into the Sinai by parachuting a battalion next to the Mitla pass—some thirty kilometers...
3 The Six Day War: Playing with Fire
Download PDF (276.3 KB)
The typical study of the events and processes leading up to the Six Day War covers the following sequence. During the winter and spring of 1967, Israeli-Syrian relations escalated significantly. Exchanges of artillery fire, infiltrations of Palestinian guerrillas from Syria into Israel, and concentrated efforts by each state to derail irrigation and water projects of the other became a daily matter. The war of words between the two states...
4 The War of Attrition: The First Payment for Arrogance
Download PDF (233.8 KB)
The War of Attrition is said to have resulted from an Egyptian decision to launch a static war against Israel in March 1969. Most accounts suggest that Egypt launched this war to accomplish three objectives. First, Nasser wanted to demonstrate to the Egyptian people that Egypt was down but not out of the conflict following the Six Day War. Second, ...
5 The Yom Kippur War: The War That Shouldn’t Have Been
Download PDF (337.0 KB)
At 2:00 p.m. on October 6, 1973, a massive artillery barrage coming from the Egyptian side hit Israeli soldiers stationed along the Suez Canal. At precisely the same time, an all-out barrage from the Syrian side hit Israeli targets on the Golan Height. Egyptian and Syrian units moved across the cease-fire lines in a coordinated attack on Israeli positions. This action started what came to be known in Israel as the Yom Kippur...
6 The Lebanese Swamp, 1981–2000
Download PDF (526.0 KB)
By now it is widely recognized that the Lebanon War was a disaster for Israel, a minor one perhaps, but a disaster nevertheless. The only one person who fails to admit it is Ariel Sharon, the chief architect of that war. But the scope and nature of the debacle in Lebanon have never been fully explored. This chapter examines ...
7 The Unlimited Use of the Limited Use of Force: Israel and Low-Intensity Warfare
Download PDF (710.3 KB)
As I mentioned in part I, Israel has been involved in 166 dyadic militarized interstate disputes (MIDs) short of war throughout its history. The dyadic MID data set (Maoz 2005) and the updated MID 3.1 data set1 suggest that there was only one year out of fifty-six years of history in which Israel did not engage in acts involving the threat, display, or limited use of force with its neighbors. The only year in which Israel...
PART III. ISRAEL’S NUCLEAR POLICY
8 The Mixed Blessing of Israel’s Nuclear Policy
Download PDF (877.0 KB)
Most observers of Israel’s national security seem to agree on three issues regarding its nuclear policy. First, Israel has acquired significant nuclear capability over a relatively long time. Second, its policy of nuclear ambiguity seems to have been balanced and sound, enabling it to develop its arsenal along with maintaining close relations with the United States and other states committed to nuclear nonproliferation. Third, and most important, the combination of nuclear ...
PART IV. FOREIGN POLICY: SHADOW AND OPEN DIPLOMACY
9 Israeli Intervention in Intra-Arab Affairs
Download PDF (236.7 KB)
As noted several times in previous chapters, one of the recurrent elements of Israel’s nightmare scenario involved the fear of becoming internationally isolated. The fact that Israel was surrounded by four Arab states and the belief (which was only partially true at best) that these states were often aided by other Arab states made that fear all the more salient in Israel’s security calculations. The political-military leadership,...
10 Never Missing an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity: The Israeli Nonpolicy of Peace in the Middle East
Download PDF (879.8 KB)
The Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” was Abba Eban’s astute observation. Underlying Eban’s statement was a long-held Israeli notion: Israel has repeatedly stretched out its hand to peace, but this hand was left hanging for a long time; there was no real partner for peace on the other side. This notion is not just an empty slogan; it is a widely held belief by many Israeli politicians and by Israeli public ...
PART V. CAUSES AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE MISMANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY
11 The Structure and Process of National Security and Foreign Policy in Israel
Download PDF (340.8 KB)
This study has identified a number of serious problems of a continuing and persistent nature in the ways Israel designed and carried out its security and foreign policy. These problems are recurrent over time and across policy areas. In each of the preceding chapters I attempted to account for the underlying causes of the policy problems I identified. I examined ...
12 Principal Findings and Lessons
Download PDF (190.8 KB)
This study’s purpose was not to document history but rather to evaluate policy. I examined various episodes in Israel’s history—principally the major wars in which it was involved—as well as long-term policy issues—such as the limited use of force, nuclear policy, peace diplomacy, and covert interventions. Several common findings emerge from this investigation. The following section outlines the most...
13 If So Bad, Why So Good?: Explaining the Paradox of the Israeli Success Story
Download PDF (727.3 KB)
In this chapter I deal with a fundamental paradox that emerges out of this study. Specifically, how can we explain the seemingly phenomenal success story of the Jewish state despite the tale of follies, problems, and fiascos exposed in the present study? I first discuss the paradox of Israel’s success. I then attempt to explain it. In the concluding section, I derive some policy implications of this paradox....
14 Paths to the Future: Scenarios and Prescriptions
Download PDF (576.7 KB)
A study of this sort cannot be concluded without discussing the implications of its key findings. One question arising out of the discussion of the problems in Israel’s security and foreign policy is, What next? For example, what happens if the trends we have detailed in the present study continue uninterrupted? How ...
Afterword: The Second Lebanon Fiasco and the Never-Ending Intifada
Download PDF (89.6 KB)
On July 12, 2006, a well-planned attack of the Hizballah on an IDF convoy inside northern Israel resulted in the killing of three Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of an additional two. A unit that attempted to chase the kidnappers ran into another ambush, and the clash resulted in an additional five Israeli fatalities and a destroyed tank (Vinograd 2007, 66)....
Download PDF (154.3 KB)
Download PDF (52.0 KB)
Download PDF (139.2 KB)
Download PDF (55.7 KB)
Download PDF (107.2 KB)
Page Count: 744
Illustrations: 21 Figures, 9 Tables
Publication Year: 2009