Israel at Sixty: Asymmetry, Vulnerability, and the Search for Security

[Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs] Gerald M. Steinberg - Sixty years ago few observers gave Israel much chance of survival. The small Jewish society faced a huge asymmetry in power, demography, and other factors. This asymmetry has not changed, but Israel has survived through the combination of intense motivation to restore national sovereignty - an equal place among the nations - and finding the necessary strategies and tactics, adapted in each period to changing threats. Israel's unique situation - a small and vulnerable country surrounded by many large and hostile neighbors - led to its ambiguous nuclear deterrent policy that has been in place since the 1960s, and can be expected to continue as long as rejection of Israel's legitimacy and threats to national survival continue. Israel can look back on sixty years of warfare and terrorism with the knowledge that these threats have been overcome. Although this is not the peace and stability that Israel seeks, the Jewish state has survived to take its place as an equal member among the other nations of the world.

2008-05-30 01:00:00

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