Israel’s Military Geography
9:05 AM, Jul 8, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
The Palestinian-Israeli “peace process” is about to enter a parlous phase. However much the fraying American-Israeli relationship has been publicly patched up by Benjamin Netanyahu’s talks in the White House with Barack Obama, the fact remains that in the weeks and months ahead, Israel will be asked—or pushed—to take great risks in return for “progress.” In whatever direction events unfold, it is vital to take stock of the fundamental geographical realities of Israel’s predicament. Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace, a new book published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and written by some of Israel’s most experienced military thinkers, begins by laying out the basics:
A great deal follows from this, and not for the defense of territory, but also the protection of air-space and the electromagnetic spectrum. The prime fact is that Israel’s hand is limited. The tiny sliver of a country cannot survive without defensible borders. And the pre-1967 borders are not defensible. The United States, the Europe Union, the Quartet, the G-20, the United Nations can all pressure Israel to yield land for peace. But the country’s strategic vulnerability dictates the limits of what it can and cannot concede. For anyone seeking to understand why military geography is destiny, this book is an excellent place to start.
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