The article discusses Israel’s ambiguous policy towards Lebanon since the late 1960s and early 1970s and assesses its long-term impact on Israeli-Lebanese relations. Its main argument is twofold: first, Israel reacted to the gradual decline of Lebanon’s effective sovereignty in the Lebanese-Israeli border area in the late 1960s and early 1970s by adopting an ambiguous policy, which, while recognizing Lebanon’s formal sovereignty, sought to “make up” for its lack of effective sovereignty in the Israeli-Lebanese border area by stepping up Israel’s involvement there; second, Israel’s ambiguous policy towards Lebanon, together with other factors, such as the armed activities of Palestinian and Lebanese factions in and from South Lebanon, has been a major factor for the continuous violence in the Lebanese-Israeli border area, most recently the war between Israel and Hizbullah in 2006. I conclude with suggestions of how to put an end to the cycle of ambiguity and conflict in Israeli-Lebanese relations.


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pp. 163-188
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