Middle East Tension Continues Prior to Israeli
The Mid-East in Flames: Behind the Rhetoric
A territorial struggle can often last for
decades. Spilling over into a new century gives it special
out with an ancient biblical motif makes it unique. These
descriptions characterize a Mid-East conflict that does
not belong in a 21st century setting. The Mid-East struggle
the Israelis and Palestinians has elements of ancient tribal
warfare -a nomadic tribe moves into the area of another
tribe, usurps its land, and then proceeds to cleanse the
its original inhabitants. On the way to fulfilling this
simple ancient custom, the 21st century usurper uses only
weapons. The usurped partially uses biblical weapons.
Behind the illusions that lead to delusions, media interpretations
and double-speak, each of the contestants has definite
objectives and strategies for achieving these objectives.
a century of direct conflict, the strategies have taken
fruit and achieved some objectives. The successes and failures
of the strategies can be delineated. The delineation serves
the purpose of clarifying the results of decades of conflict.
The results indicate the direction the international community
must take to prevent the Mid-East struggle from causing
to the entire world.
A 3-part article presents a behind-the-scenes
reality of the Mid-East conflict.
Part I : Objectives and
Part II : Successes and Failures
Part III : Involving the International Community
Part I :
Objectives and Strategies
Through the years, changing
circumstances modified Israel's objectives. The Zionists
of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries planned to establish a community where Jewish
people, who refused to lose their identity to the emancipation
them in democratic states, could maintain their Jewish
heritage. The vacuum created by the disintegration of the
and the award of Palestine to a British mandate changed
the perspective. Initially, the British welcomed Western
who could speak English and administer with Western principles.
Soon the Jews realized that they could control many aspects
of the area of Palestine and more easily invite other immigrants.
The Zionists initiated the path toward establishing a state.
The tragedy of WWII further emphasized the legitimacy of
their objective and made it more acceptable to the world
community. The 1947 UN proclamation that established the
state of Israel legalized Zionist ambitions. Only after
the state had been created and the government faced its problems
and responsibilities, did Israel formulate objectives to
achieve a goal -changing a state to a formidable nation.
The primary objective of the state of Israel
has been to secure its territory from being compromised by
internal hostile forces. The hostile forces are manifold.
the principal hostile forces are the Arab nations that
could invade Israel, such as Syria, Iraq, etc. They
also include other nations of the world, Arab, Moslem and
Western, which might approach Israel's policies as aggressive
and dangerous to world peace. The Western nations affected
by the terrorism generated from the Mid-East conflict could
conclude that a furthering of Israel's defense capabilities
is counterproductive to the welfare of their own societies.
Israel also perceives hostile forces to be groups either
friendly to the Palestinian cause or antagonistic to the
creation of a unique Jewish state.
Internally, Israel views the Palestinian people as the
most hostile of enemies. By its actions, Israel has demonstrated
it considers its own Arab citizens as a hostile force.
not only its own Arab citizens. Israel fears clashes between
racial, religious and class elements within its Jewish
constituency could destroy the unity and fabric of Israeli
great threats to Israel's security throughout recent decades
have been the demands of its economic system. Security
costs detract from economic progress. Economic failure
a security failure.
Israel has taken no chances. Through shrewd
strategies, it has neutralized every available antagonistic
base and attempted
to smother or compromise each perceived threat.The Strategies
To contain the threat of internal insurrection, Israel
developed military strength that is equipped with the latest
weapons, including atomic. In order to financially support
these military developments and prevent economic collapse,
it appealed to the world community, especially the United
States and Germany to provide sufficient funds. By highlighting
past discriminations against Jewish people and the Holocaust,
Israel generated sympathy and received great amounts of
monetary and material contributions, including advanced
creating a network of media supporters in the West and
influential supporters in the U.S. Congress and Western nation
parliaments, Israel neutralized critics from Arab states,
the United Nations, and other Western Nations, such as
and Italy, and dampened the fervor of groups that protested
against its actions.
The principal Palestinian threat has
been fought with force. Similar to United States' expansion
from its infancy until
it reached coast-to-coast, Israel built semi-fortified
settlements, which continually encroached on the West Bank
and were followed
by military roads and military encampments. A network of
secret security forces has been established to infiltrate
Palestinian groups and counter insurgency. Despite Israel's
stated intentions, the history of the last ten years indicates
that Israel, by military intrusion into the West Bank,
Gaza and Palestinian East Jerusalem, has impeded communications
and contact between Palestinians. This has been done in
attempt to prevent any hope of creating both a viable Palestinian
state and a unified military threat.
Anticipated threats to
security by Arab citizens of Israel were initially reduced
by the removal from Israel of 750,000
Arabs after the 1948 war and another 400,000 after the 1967
war. It did not matter if these expulsions were enforced
or voluntary; Israel did not permit the return of those who
left. To justify this proposition, Israel once again used
the strategy of soliciting worldwide media support and an
emotional attachment to the Holocaust to convince the world
that it had been constituted as a Jewish state and that a
large Arab population would interfere with its ethnic identity.
During the first twenty years of Israel's existence, it contained
its Arab citizens by quasi martial law. Later strategy separated
the Arab and Jewish communities, such as in Nazareth. The
more isolated pockets of Arab life facilitated Israeli patrol
and control. A series of laws prevented the Arabs from purchasing
property, made it possible for them to lose their property
if they went abroad, denied them the normal social and educational
opportunities given to other Israeli citizens, and seized
their lands for "construction of military bases." In
short, Israel's strategy to contain possible security threats
from their Arab citizens has been to intimidate them, to
subtly coerce them to leave, and to subordinate their economic
The other internal threat, namely the antagonisms
between Jewish communities, have been managed by the usual
that nation states often use -an appeal that the external
threat demands unity and compromise. By subtly granting
special privileges and some power to extremist groups, such
ultra-orthodox, the government has been able to temporarily
maintain internal order.Other Israeli Objectives
of a Jewish state
The creation of a Jewish state
has been both an objective and a strategy. Claiming Israel
as a Jewish state has allowed
Jewish persons from mainly North Africa and the former
Soviet Union to migrate to Israel and populate it. The immigrant
population is needed to counter the growing Palestinian
operate the new settlements that displace Palestinian populations
and increase its military prowess. Contributions from Western
nations and Jewish individuals have been used to finance
both the immigration and the immigrants' initial adaptation
to their new country.
Creation of an Industrialized State
Modern Israel strategically
departed from the agricultural economy fostered by the
early Zionists and pursued the development
of a high tech industrial base. This type of economy partially
relieved the scarce water and land pressures that could
bring stagnation to the Israeli economy. It also assisted
development of high tech weapons for the military. As in
previous infrastructure constructions, Israel solicited
financial support from Western nations, especially the United
and its stock market, to facilitate the transition to a
new industrial base.
Through its association with the Western
world Israel has turned its back on the Arab world and
aims to be included
as a partner of the European nations and recognized as
one of their Mediterranean countries. The principal strategy
to accomplish this has been to try to gain admittance to
the European Common Market.
to the Zionist experience, the Palestinians modified their
strategy according to the circumstances. Unlike the
Zionists, they did not have unified commands to dictate
nor a coordinate strategy and their policies were reactions
than actions. After Arafat established the Palestine Liberation
Organization in 1962, the Palestinians had the opportunity
to formulate common objectives and strategies.
Their initial objective was simple: To overthrow the state
of Israel and establish a Palestinian nation. The strategy
was also simple: (1) the use of terrorism to identify their
cause to the world and solicit support from the world community;
(2) the use of the same terrorism to weaken Israel and
convince the Arab nations that Israel could be defeated
The strategy had some success. It enabled the
Palestine Liberation organization to receive world recognition
evolve into a Palestinian Authority.
After evolution to a
Palestinian Authority (PA), the Palestinians changed their
objectives. These objectives are restrained
by the fluid nature of the PA and its control.
principal objective of the Palestinian Authority is to
establish a viable state on the entire West Bank and
Gaza. The strategy to accomplish this has been to trade
recognition of a state of Israel that has its borders based
on the pre-1967
situation for recognition of a Palestinian state that includes
the entire West Bank and Gaza. The mechanism for implementing
this strategy has been a peace initiative based on the
Another objective is to have the parts of Jerusalem
and the Old City in which the Palestinians and the Moslem
have legal ownership established as the capital of the
new Palestinian state. The strategy: convince the Arab and
worlds to enforce UN Resolutions, such as Resolution 242,
that denounces as illegal Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem
and the Old City.
With these strategies in place for several
years, their effectiveness can be measured.
Part II of the series will examine the effectiveness of
© The News Insider 2000
The use of the editorials published
on this site is free, as long as News Insider is notified
and referred to as
the source of the information
cited. We believe in the free sharing of information, but we do
not encourage plagiarism. If our editorials are of use to
contact us to let us know. Thank you for your cooperation.