TITLE

Straddling the Fence

AUTHOR(S)
Avineri, Shlomo
PUB. DATE
March 2005
SOURCE
Foreign Policy;Mar/Apr2005, Issue 147, p72
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article argues that Israel's security barrier can be a catalyst for political change. To many outside observers, Israel's security fence is a symbol of failure, a razor wire-festooned monument to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's inability or unwillingness to negotiate a final peace settlement with the Palestinians. But what the fence actually represents is the failure of Israel's rival ideologies--and, ironically, a way out of the stalemate that has afflicted both sides of the Green Line. For decades, the left preached that if Israel made the Palestinians an offer they could not refuse, then peace would be achieved. Yet, when former Prime Minister Ehud Barak made such an offer at the 2000 Camp David talks, the Palestinians not only refused but reverted to terrorism and suicide bombings. For its part, the right proclaimed that if Israel hit the Palestinians hard enough, they would give in. Eventually, the security fence emerged as the only alternative. Israel's security does not depend on whether it controls this hill or that wadi, but whether it has a strategic understanding with the only power that can meaningfully support Israel: the United States. This strategic understanding with the United States, however, had a price tag. Israel would have to put an end, one way or another, to most of the occupation, while also creating an effective barrier that would end the brutal cycle of retaliation between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.
ACCESSION #
16195316

 

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