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  • Author: Tamas Berzi
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Many countries such as Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic showed understanding for Israel and described Israel's actions as self-defense. These countries generally used strong language against Hamas and demanded that it stop the rocket attacks unconditionally. At the time of the start of the Israeli airstrikes, the European presidency was held by France. On December 27, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union condemned both the Israeli air raids and the Palestinian rocket strikes on Israel from Gaza and called for an immediate end to these activities. The statement also condemned the disproportionate use of force. As of January 1, 2009, the Czech Republic took over the role of the Presidency of the European Union. On January 3, the presidency described the Israeli ground operations as an act of self-defense. This drew heavy criticism from many European countries, and the Czechs apologized for the "misunderstanding" and issued a new statement, but one that did not call for an "immediate" ceasefire. In diplomatic language there is a significant difference between "as soon as possible" and "immediate." France has been traditionally the main driving force behind European foreign policy. The separate Sarkozy visit to Israel and his humanitarian ceasefire proposal showed that France was not ready to relinquish its positions to the Czech Republic. The Czech positions during Israel's Gaza operation indicate that the current presidency will work toward a more favorable international environment for Israel. However, Israel should try to make the most of it, since the upcoming Swedish presidency, which starts on July 1, 2009, will most likely be a more difficult time for Israel.
  • Topic: War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Joel S. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Israel and the PLO have been confronting each other according to completely different paradigms of conflict. Since the late 1960s, the PLO has adopted a "people's war" paradigm that continued to guide its policies even after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. According to the "people's war" paradigm, borrowed from Marxist-Leninist traditions in China and Vietnam, conflict is waged on both the political and military levels, but for militarily weaker guerilla groups, political conflict is more important, especially the delegitimization of an adversary and the division of his society. Prior to 1993, Israel largely responded to the PLO militarily as a terrorist threat, but not politically. After 1993, with the PLO "renouncing" terrorism, Israel embraced the PLO leadership and ignored the signs that the PLO was still engaged in political warfare against it (incitement, reluctance to alter PLO Covenant, UN votes, textbooks). Israeli governments later complained about these symptoms of political warfare, without identifying the cause. Established Israeli traditions place undue emphasis on the narrowly-framed military approach to the detriment of the political, which leaves Israel particularly vulnerable to broad-based strategic deception. Israeli policy-makers must reexamine the assumptions upon which they have based political and military policy over the last decade.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Vietnam, Arab Countries, Oslo
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The idea of the democratic peace, although not explicitly named, was an essential element of the Oslo Accords. The term "democratic peace" is generally understood to have two components: the assertion that democracies are inherently peaceful, and that they do not, as a rule, wage war against other democracies. This ideal would have represented the most desirable type of final arrangement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it predicates an environment of shared values, of political, social, and economic stability. The issue of the democratic peace is also one of security, because the presence or absence of its main components may ultimately represent the essence of success or failure, peace or war.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Oslo
  • Author: Raphael Israeli
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On the morning of March 21, 1983, one week before Pesach, in a high school in the town of Arrabeh in the Jenin area of the West Bank, Palestinian girls (between the ages of 15 and 17) were sitting in several classrooms when they suddenly began to faint, one after the other. They were taken to hospital and checked, but no medical reason was found for their fainting. Yet they had fainted, so a search began in order to find the reason.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The moral aspects of Western attitudes toward the Jews and the Holocaust since World War II have not yet been analyzed systematically. However, the current campaign of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people — unprecedented since the end of the war — recalls many elements of the prewar decades. Yet it is too easy to generalize and describe this as one more outburst of the ancient illness of anti-Semitism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Three basic conditions prevailed when the Arab-Israeli peace process began in 1991 in Madrid and accelerated in 1993 at Oslo. First, the Soviet Union crumbled and eventually collapsed, removing what had since 1955 been the strategic backbone of the Arab military option against the State of Israel. Second, Iraq was militarily crushed and under both UN sanctions and monitoring, and was therefore removed from the political and military calculus of relations between Israel and the Arab world. Third, Iran was still recovering from its eight-year war with Iraq and was far from ready to have an impact in the Middle East. Together, these three conditions created a unique moment of Pax Americana, maintained not just by virtue of American power, but by the consent of its potential rivals.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, War, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union