Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Israeli Foreign Policy

On Israeli Foreign Policy: When Israel became an official country in May 1948, she confronted five Arab armies on her newly established borders. Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria each invaded Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism, which sought to reassert Arab control over Palestine. But it was the ideology of Religious Zionism that helped the Israeli people remain resolute and fend off their Arab foes. This strain of Zionist thinking has become central in the political processes that define Israeli foreign policy. Ever since the country's early foreign ministers; Moshe Sharett, Golda Meir, and Abba Eban, Israel has demonstrated a strong inclination for self-determination whereby her national interests supersede the collective interests of her Arab neighbors. For example, when Palestinian Arabs fled Israel at the onset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, they were not allowed to repatriate. At that time, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who simultaneously headed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli government, employed a variety of heavy-handed policies toward Palestinian Arabs. His thinking centered on the idea of "peace through strength." Therefore, if Israel pursued aggressive settlement policies through mechanisms like the National Water Carrier project, then Palestinian Arabs would necessarily recognize the permanence of Israeli statehood, and thus, political stability in Israel would subsequently ensue.

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