Monday, October 13, 2008

Agence Global - Article

Israel Between War and Peace

by Patrick Seale

The violently contradictory signals coming out of Israel these days point to the troublesome -- and so far unresolved -- debate among the country’s leaders about how Israel should live in the Middle East. Israel professes to want peace, yet it works tirelessly to prepare for war.

Militarily, Israel is immensely strong. Yet its sense of vulnerability is so acute that it seems unable to feel secure unless the Arabs around it are on their knees. Such contradictions suggest an advanced form of national schizophrenia.

At the heart of the debate is Israel’s worry that its much-vaunted deterrent capability has been eroded by Hizbullah in Lebanon, by Hamas in Gaza, and by the rising power of Iran. From the creation of the state, Israel has sought – and achieved -- military domination over the entire region. The suggestion that this supremacy may not be eternal, and that new security thinking may be required, is causing painful ructions among Israel’s strategic planners...

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