Israel's Justified Fears of a Palestinian State

(Guardian-UK) Carlo Strenger - Israel has justified fears of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. Israel's citizens are traumatized by years of rocket attacks from Gaza, which only intensified once Israel withdrew from there. The international community has shown somewhat limited understanding for Israel's concerns, because these attacks have not cost many lives. What would Israel's situation be after withdrawing from the West Bank to the 1967 borders? All major population centers of Israel would be in range of Katyushas. These rockets were sufficiently destructive to bring life in northern Israel to a complete standstill when Hizbullah fired large numbers of them into Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. If Israel is attacked from the West Bank, the impact will be devastating, and Israel will have no choice but to react forcefully - and as a result will, once again, be the target of international condemnation. Hence if Israel continues the occupation of large parts of the West Bank, it is under constant international criticism but at least it is relatively safe. If Israel withdraws from the West Bank, it will open itself to attacks from there. Israelis will not be convinced that they can take risks for peace if they are not sure that the final agreement prevents any further demands that endanger Israel. The writer teaches at the psychology department of Tel Aviv University and serves as a member of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists.

2009-12-02 09:12:55

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