As the Territory of Israel Decreases, Israel Is Perceived as Weaker

Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon (Herzliya Conference)- Former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon addressed the "Defensible Borders for Israel" session of the Herzliya Conference on Monday: * The 1967 borders are not defensible borders for Israel and they are strategically damaging. As the territory of Israel decreases, so does its ability to endure attacks. * The core of our security situation must focus on the non-acceptance of our right to exist here. The non-recognition of Israel in the Middle East is the source of violence against us since the dawn of Zionism. As long as the situation does not change, Israel will be exposed to threats. * Territory in exchange for peace proved to be the correct model for the agreements with Egypt and Jordan, but this model has not, as of yet, proved to be correct in regard to the Palestinian Authority. The PA has violated its agreements and started a war in the year 2000, refusing to accept the State of Israel within the 1967 borders. In the demarcation of the future border, whether by agreement or unilaterally, it must be taken into account that any agreement may be violated by violent action. As the territory of Israel decreases, Israel will be more threatened and perceived as weaker. * The disengagement from Gaza put Ashkelon and the power grid station near Zikim within missile range. In addition, the population centers, Ben-Gurion Airport, and other sensitive sites now face potential threats. Therefore, we must protect the passages and inspect the weapons that enter the Palestinian Authority. The further the border is from Israeli population centers, the more time there is for assessment and defense against these threats. * Even if conventional war is less of a threat, we cannot assume that this threat does not exist. The return to the 1967 borders could push the process backwards, even with countries with which treaties exist. * There exist a number of solutions: 1. A stable political agreement with security guarantees. This option is simply not feasible. 2. Reliable deterrence, both conventional and super-conventional. Practically speaking, the disengagement from Gaza was detrimental to Israel from the point of view of the non-conventional threat. This deterrence can be enhanced by raising the price of any attack from the other side. 3. Democratization. Advance prevention and early education is needed in order to prevent the current situation. This is an important process that cannot be neglected.

2006-01-27 00:00:00

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