Israel Banks on a Fence
The Future of Palestine
Israel's New Strategy
Can Hamas Be Tamed?
The Hamas Conundrum
The Untamed Shrew, Four Years On
Letter From Gaza: Hamas the Opportunist
Hamas’ Tunnel Diplomacy
How to Handle Hamas
The Perils of Ignoring Gaza's Leadership
The Palestinian Spring?
Hamas and Fatah Have Unified, but not Yet Reconciled
Israel's Gamble in Gaza
The Perils of Operation Pillar of Defense
Why The Group Thought It Could Get Away With Striking Israel
Where Hamas Goes From Here
Time To Regroup or Rupture
Hamas' Not-So-Secret Weapon
Meet Salah al-Arouri, the Man Behind the Group's Kidnapping Strategy
Why Cairo Can't Broker a Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas
The Near Enemy
Why the Real Threat to Israel Isn't in Gaza
Bibi's First War
Why Benjamin Netanyahu Has Never Liked Military Conflict
How Hamas Won
Israel's Tactical Success and Strategic Failure
Gaza's Bottle Rockets
Why Hamas' Arsenal Wasn't Worth a War
Notes From the Underground
The Long History of Tunnel Warfare
Why Withdrawing From the West Bank Would Make Israel Safer
Why Israel Should Stop Pushing Hamas to Give Up Its Weapons
Is Trusteeship for Palestine the Answer?
THE END OF OCCUPATION
Israeli politics and policy are undergoing a revolutionary transformation -- one of the most important developments in the nation's history. As dramatic as recent events have been, equally important is the emergence of a new strategic paradigm that reverses 30 years of debate and practice and overturns some of Israelis' most basic assumptions.
Why have perceptions, politics, and strategy changed so dramatically? The shift began when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, including the dismantling of Jewish settlements in those areas. Within a few months, Sharon's Likud Party had revolted against him; Sharon had quit Likud and formed another party, Kadima; the Labor Party had chosen a populist outsider as its leader; the governing coalition had collapsed, necessitating new elections; Sharon had been physically incapacitated by a stroke and replaced by a top deputy, Ehud Olmert; and Olmert had gone on to win in the March 2006 elections. Hamas' victory in the January 2006 Palestinian elections only underscored already existing trends.
The emerging new policy is based on a broad Israeli recognition that holding on to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is simply not in Israel's interest, despite the fact that the Palestinian leadership has been uninterested in and incapable of making peace and that both Fatah and Hamas will use that land to try to launch attacks on Israel. The territories no longer serve a strategic function for Israel, given the unlikelihood of a conventional attack by Arab state armies, and Israel could better defend its citizens by creating a strong defensive line rather than by dispersing its forces. Moreover, because a comprehensive peace deal is not likely to be reached for many years, the territories are no longer of value as bargaining chips. During the long era before the Palestinians will be organized and moderate enough to make peace, Israel has to set its own strategy based on these realities.
TERRITORY FOR PEACE?
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