Israel Surveys Its Position with a Mixture of Uncertainty and Hope

(Economist-UK) - Though Israel's neighbors have neither the strength nor the stomach for a fight these days, the Palestinians' intifada has spawned a ruthless breed of militants, Hizballah harries Israel from its south Lebanon encampments, and the prospect of being nuked by Iran seems to loom ever larger. Yet, says Shai Feldman, until recently head of Israel's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies and now at Brandeis University in the U.S., "regionally, Israel is in a much better situation than it's ever been." Its one-time foes are weaker militarily and economically; Russia, despite a recent arms deal with Syria, is still more Israel's friend than the Arabs' - the reverse of the Soviet stance; and Iraq, post-Saddam, no longer growls at Israel.

2005-03-18 00:00:00

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