In advance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror examines the two basic approaches to resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the creation of a bi-national state (in practice).
The failures found in the wake of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014 illustrate that in war, nothing is as important as the proper division of roles. The IDF should stay out of politics, and the cabinet should refrain from tactical planning.
The new US administration is far more sympathetic to Israel than was its predecessor, but we must avoid taking steps from which there is no return. The Middle East is not Washington’s sole focus and Israel must preserve the bipartisan support it enjoys.
The only advantage the state comptroller has over the subjects of his audits is the perspective gained by hindsight. This may prevent him from walking a real mile in decision-makers’ shoes. Sometimes breaking protocol is necessary.
President Barack Obama has eroded the US’s superpower status and is leaving behind a far more dangerous world than the one he inherited. A Trump administration gives Israel reason to be optimistic, although it must bear in mind that he is a very shrewd businessman.
In his speech bidding farewell to active diplomatic activity in the Middle East, US Secretary of State John Kerry addressed only one topic: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and specifically settlements. In so doing, he displayed his inability to assess the region correctly and to put the Palestinian issue into perspective.
Frustration over government dysfunction was at the root of recent Arab upheavals, and it is now driving some of the changes taking place in Western democracies, including the US. The Trump administration will have to work hard to gain public trust, and to restore America’s credibility as a superpower too – which was badly eroded during Obama’s presidency.
Israelis who cultivate the pipe dream of substituting Israel’s long-term bond with the US for an alliance with China and Russia should take a long, hard look at the votes of Moscow and Beijing at UNESCO, where they joined in denial of Jewish links to Jerusalem. Russian and Chinese policies lack the ethical basis that is so prevalent in US policy, and the chances of forging a similar long-term bond with either are slim.
The Russians are determined to reacquire some of the status once enjoyed by the Soviet Union of yore. They believe Western carelessness is to blame for the rise of Islamic State, and are using the Syrian theater to demonstrate their strategic capability.
The landmark US defense aid package signed on September 14 is an important event for Israel, for three reasons. First, it indicates the depth of the American leadership’s commitment to Israel’s security, despite differences of opinion between the two countries. Second, it allows the IDF to sustain its multiyear plans to bolster capabilities in every field. And third, it signals to all those plotting against Israel in the region and the world that Israel’s friendship with the US remains strong.