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What is Israel's Political Goal?

Carl von Clausewitz, one of the pioneers of modern warfare, stated in his book that "War is the continuation of policy with other means." What political objective does Israel have for the aftermath?


Carl Fon Klauzovitz

International leaders, including Presidents Biden and A-Sisi of Egypt, consistently advocate for a two-state solution. But is this solution still viable?


Even if we assume (knock wood) that Israel can eliminate Hamas's regime, the threat from Iran and its proxies will likely remain the primary concern for Israel's national security. This concern clashes with Palestinian sovereignty. It's unlikely that Israel would allow a Palestinian state to maintain an army, control its airspace, construct a seaport, or even oversee border points independently.




Nevertheless, Israel's fundamental need to cease control over the Palestinian population remains unchanged.


Every political solution to the conflict that was proposed thus far, embedded an inherent tension between Israel's desire to end its control over the Palestinians and Israel’s security needs.  


The current war has the potential to reshape regional dynamics and perhaps even global order. Thus, previously deemed impractical and unattainable solutions might become feasible in this changing landscape. Following the Abraham Accords, regional collaboration, arrangements, or even international coalitions might serve as political lifelines.

As I explained in an earlier post, in the near future, Israel may have to rely on the Palestinian Authority. But this would be a temporary measure, a ‘political scaffold’ towards a more enduring strategy that might strike a balance between ending control over the Palestinians and safeguarding Israel's security.


Potential solutions include a confederation with Jordan and Egypt, establishing an international regional regime, and more. These proposals are intricate and necessitate preparatory groundwork that should start immediately.


What are Political Lessons Learned ?


While the conflict might have overshadowed the political and social divides, the interpretations of the left and right in Israel diverge. Broadly speaking, the center-left highlights the error in bolstering Hamas and argues that undermining the Palestinian Authority led to the current situation. Conversely, the right underscores the risks of Palestinian sovereignty, asserting that the Oslo Accords and the disengagement from Gaza paved the way for today's challenges. Simply put, a consensus on the political solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict seems unlikely in Israel in the near future.


The Israeli political system, already frail due to the structure of multiple parties, has been further weakened by the intense social polarization of this past year. This means that Israel currently lacks the capability for a significant political move. As a result, both the concept of a Palestinian state and the resettlement of Gush Katif seem unfeasible at this juncture.


Here too, the conclusion is there's a pressing need to devise a fresh political paradigm.


 

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