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After The American Elections: Israel, Peace And International Law (Part I)

10 Kislev 5771 – November 17, 2010
After the recent U.S. election, President Barack Obama unhappily conceded that he had suffered a "shellacking." For the most part, the president was referring to an obviously firm and far-reaching rejection of his domestic policies. Nonetheless, his personal influence has now been weakened generally, including in many areas of U.S. foreign policy. It is fair to ask, therefore, whether his oft-stated preferences for a "Road Map to Peace in the Middle East" (that is, creation of a Palestinian state out of the still-living body of Israel), and also for "a world free of nuclear weapons (that is, a world in which Israel would no longer be able to deter existential attacks) are still a matter of reasonable concern.

Palestine, Iran And Israel’s Nuclear Strategy: Critical Notes for an Essential Strategic Policy in...

4 Kislev 5771 – November 11, 2010
Pretended irrationality can be a double-edged sword. Brandished too irrationally, Israeli preparations for a Samson Option could encourage enemy preemptions. Here, again, the specter of a nuclear Iran should emerge front and center. After all, sanctions against Iran have represented little more than a fly on the elephant's back.

Palestine, Iran And Israel’s Nuclear Strategy: Critical Notes for an Essential Strategic Policy in...

27 Heshvan 5771 – November 4, 2010
What is Israel to do? Confronting a new enemy Arab state that could act collaboratively and capably (thanks, largely, to the U.S.) with other Arab states, or possibly even with non-Arab Iran, and also potentially serious synergies between the birth of Palestine, and renewed terrorism from Lebanon, Israel could feel itself compelled to bring hitherto clandestine elements of its "ambiguous" nuclear strategy into the light of day. Here, leaving the "bomb in the basement" would no longer make strategic sense.

Palestine, Iran And Israel’s Nuclear Strategy: Critical Notes for an Essential Strategic Policy in...

20 Heshvan 5771 – October 27, 2010
In the always complex discourse of nuclear strategy, critical thinking is a "net." Only those who cast will catch. To calculate Israel's best strategic options in the months and years ahead, the capable strategist must continue to ask and answer difficult questions persistently, patiently, and above all, systematically. Only by drawing together, seamlessly, this interrelated body of queries and replies, can the serious military analyst ever hope for a coherent and comprehensive body of military and diplomatic theory - a strategic master plan from which particular policies and decisions can be suitably extracted. The only alternative is the usual patchwork quilt of journalistic or reportorial "explanation," an arbitrary mélange of more or less disjointed information and factoids lacking even the rudiments of predictive thought.

Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity: Opportunity Or Liability? (Part III)

12 Heshvan 5771 – October 20, 2010
Only a selective end to its nuclear ambiguity would allow Israel to exploit the potentially considerable benefits of a Samson Option. Should Israel choose to keep its Bomb in the "basement," therefore, it could not make any use of the Samson Option.

Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity: Opportunity Or Liability? (Part II)

6 Heshvan 5771 – October 14, 2010
The Israeli policy of an undeclared nuclear capacity will not work indefinitely. Left unrevised, this policy will fail. The most obvious locus of failure would be Iran.

Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity: Opportunity Or Liability? (Part I)

28 Tishri 5771 – October 6, 2010
Worldwide, it is generally assumed that Israel's nuclear policy of deliberate ambiguity makes good sense. Everyone already knows that Israel has "the Bomb." So, why "stir the pot" by retreating from "opacity?"

Why A Palestinian State Would Never Be ‘Demilitarized’: A Jurisprudential And Strategic Perspective

20 Tishri 5771 – September 28, 2010
U.S. President Barack Obama will not back away from his so-called "Road Map to Peace in the Middle East." Even now, a plainly self-defeating "Two-State Solution" remains the cornerstone of this twisted cartography. Understanding all this, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemingly continues to harbor hopes that, somehow, any Palestinian state would be suitably demilitarized. Such hopes, of course, would necessarily rest upon a problematic antecedent assumption that demilitarization could actually work.

Law, Morality And Jewish Survival In The State Of Israel

13 Tishri 5771 – September 21, 2010
The central truth of being human is the constant love of being alive. We Jews, of course, both in our prayers, and in our sacred rituals, have always underscored the central difference between life and death, between the "blessing and the curse." In consequence, all Jewish survival, individually and collectively, is now closely bound up with the survival of the Jewish state. For both its too few friends, and its too many enemies, Israel is now plainly the individual Jew in macrocosm.

Still No ‘Peace Process’ For Israel (Part III)

8 Tishri 5771 – September 16, 2010
Regarding the Oslo Accords and Israel's vulnerability to war, Israeli security has become increasingly dependent upon nuclear weapons and strategy. Faced with a codified and substantial loss of territories generated by Oslo, the Jewish state will soon have to decide on precisely how to compensate for its expectedly diminished strategic depth. While this shrinkage will not necessarily increase Israel's existential vulnerability to unconventional missile attack, it surely will increase that state's susceptibility to attacking ground forces and to subsequent enemy occupation. Any loss of strategic depth will almost certainly be interpreted by enemy states as a significant weakening of Israel's overall defense posture, an interpretation that could then lead to substantial enemy incentives to strike first.

Still No ‘Peace Process’ For Israel (Part II)

28 Elul 5770 – September 7, 2010
The explicit application of codified restrictions of the laws of war to noninternational armed conflicts dates back only as far as the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. Recalling, however, that more than treaties and conventions comprise the laws of war, it is also clear that the obligations of jus in bello (justice in war) comprise part of "the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations," and bind all categories of belligerents. Indeed, the Hague Convention IV of 1907 declares, in broad terms, that in the absence of a precisely published set of guidelines in humanitarian international law concerning "unforeseen cases," the preconventional sources of international law govern all belligerency.

Still No ‘Peace Process’ For Israel (Part I)

23 Elul 5770 – September 1, 2010
The more things change, the more they remain the same. From its imperiled beginnings, from the plainly one-sided inception of Oslo, the so-called "Middle East Peace Process" never gave Israel a chance. Widely animated by a distinctly lascivious Arab will to exploit the agreement in order to hasten Israel's incremental elimination, a Final Solution to the Israel Question, it remains, even today, little more than an enemy Trojan Horse. Ironically, from the standpoint of current U.S. and other national foreign policies, the "Peace Process" is now routinely characterized as a road map.

Preserving Israel At The Eleventh Hour: Nuclear Deterrence, Enemy Rationality and ‘Palestine’

16 Elul 5770 – August 26, 2010
Faced with the daunting prospect of seemingly endless terrorism, and with staggering global opposition to any of its essential and altogether permissible forms of self-defense, Israel now requires a complex and capable counter-terrorism strategy merely to survive. Simultaneously, the major threats to Israel's physical survival lie in certain mass-destruction (biological and/or nuclear) attacks by enemy states. Ultimately, therefore, the Jewish State's actual continuance rests upon even more than successful counter-terrorism. It rests also upon the inherently fragile and unpredictable foundations of nuclear deterrence.

A New Military Reality: Suffering Existential Harms Without Losing A War

9 Elul 5770 – August 19, 2010
It is not always easy, in studying world politics, to know when power is really "powerful," and when weakness is really "weak." Oddly enough, some states that are presumably very powerful in measurable military terms may occasionally have to yield to others that seemingly lack power altogether. Even more ironically, in the case of Israel versus Hamas, the presumably powerful state is increasingly at the mercy of a brutal criminal organization that is substantially less autonomous than a truly sovereign state, and that has no armed forces even worth mentioning.

The Pianist (Part II)

24 Av 5770 – August 4, 2010
War, terrorism and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Now, as certain portions of the Arab/Islamic world openly declare genocidal intentions against Israel (a war of extermination is plainly a genocidal war under international law), some progressive Jews are proudly leading various rallies and/or publications for peace - a peace that could only be fashioned upon a new generation of Jewish corpses. Here, in the United States, and regrettably, also in Israel, Jewish university professors are all-too typically the leaders in organized campus protests (1) against an alleged Israeli "occupation," and (2) for expanded Palestinian "rights."

The Pianist (Part I)

18 Av 5770 – July 28, 2010
On its surface, The Pianist is "merely" the true tale of a great Jewish musician (Wladyslaw Szpilman) caught up in the unfathomable depths of Nazi occupation and terror. More profoundly, of course, it is a disturbing visual microcosm of the generic human struggle between good and evil, a titanic struggle that is sometimes utterly clear, but at other times also distressingly "gray." The Nazis in Poland were monsters, to be sure, but what are we to say about the others, including many Jews, who became actual and collaborative perpetrators in every corner of the Holocaust Kingdom? What pertinent lessons can we learn from this 2002 film for Jewish, and especially Israeli, preservation in our own perilous time?

A Linkage Still Unrecognized: Palestinian Statehood and Jihadist Terror

10 Av 5770 – July 21, 2010
In these pages, I have written occasionally about dangerous cartographies. Oddly, even now, the so-called road map to peace will not go away quietly. If implemented, President Barack Obama's plan for a "Two-State Solution" in the Middle East will sorely degrade both U.S. and Israeli security. This is because the twisted roadmap to Palestinian statehood still misses a decidedly crucial understanding:Jihadist terror has little to do with territory or politics or military strategy or tactics. In essence, it is a ritualistic and longstanding expression of religious sacrifice.

Empowering Weakness; Weakening Power: Hidden Meanings Of Israeli-Palestinian Relations

4 Av 5770 – July 15, 2010
By every tangible military and economic standard, Israel is more powerful than its Palestinian foes. Nonetheless, from time to time, there are stark and compelling reminders in world politics that the powerful can sometimes be weak, and that the weak can sometimes be powerful. For example, despite its evident superiority in arms, Israel is periodically at the mercy of Palestinian rockets fired into civilian areas from Gaza.

Human, All Too Human: To Survive, We Need To Look Behind The News

25 Tammuz 5770 – July 7, 2010
We Jews are already accustomed to irony, but - only rarely - does the subject in question rise to the daunting level of human survival. Here, however, is one of those rare subjects. Considering it carefully, we can begin to appreciate the obligation to look at our world with genuinely larger questions in mind. In other words, we should quickly begin to recognize a distinct imperative to look behind the news.

Facing A Changed Game: The ‘Obama Doctrine’ And Israeli Strategic Planning

18 Tammuz 5770 – June 30, 2010
The high-minded centerpiece of Barack Obama's still-emerging strategic doctrine is "a world free of nuclear weapons." Although plainly misconceived -this presidential policy expectation is both unattainable and undesirable- Israel can hardly ignore it. On the contrary, planners in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv will now have to self-consciously fashion and possibly reconcile Israel's own strategic doctrine with the new American ideas.

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