Understanding Netanyahu’s Security Policy

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold speaks about the possibility of renewed negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel’s relations with Arab countries, the Iranian nuclear threat, and the absurdity of the attack on Netanyahu for accepting an invitation to speak to the U.S. Congress. On the subject of borders, Gold comments:

Many people forget that Israel was never required to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines—which are often misnamed “the 1967 borders.” It was the UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, which stated explicitly that Israel was expected to withdraw from “territories” and not from all the territories. The common understanding of the U.S. and the UK at the time was that there had to be an Israeli withdrawal, but it wouldn’t have to be a full withdrawal. . . . Israel received assurances from successive US administrations that it was entitled to defensible borders that would replace the fragile pre-1967 lines from which it was attacked more than 40 years ago. . . .

Israel has to negotiate a new border with the Palestinians. . . . In the context of negotiating those new borders, Israel will seek ways to assure that, at the end of the day, it will have secure boundaries that are defensible, given the multiple threats mushrooming around Israel at present, from Islamic State to Iran.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Dore Gold, Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Security, Palestinians

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict