Israel: April 7, 2002


While there is much talk of another Arab-Israeli war over the Palestinian issues, this is unlikely. Israel has consistently and decisively defeated Arab armies. The Arab states would prefer to use irregulars (Palestinians and Hizbollah) to snipe at Israel. To the Palestinians (and Arabs in general), a "victory over Israel" is seen any time an Israeli soldier is killed or Israel is forced to leave Arab territory. The Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon was seen as a great victory. Since most Arab nations are run (and poorly at that) by dictators or aristocrats, it is seen as useful to distract the population from the local despots by concentrating on the fight between Palestinians and Israel. Nevertheless, Israel says it will negotiate with any Arab leaders (except Yasser Arafat) to work out a deal regarding the Palestinians. But the radicals on both sides are willing to use force to prevent any negotiated deal. Arab radicals want Israel destroyed and Israeli radicals want all Arabs expelled from the West Bank and the rest of Israel. Since neither of these outcomes is very likely, a negotiated deal will eventually be struck. Note, however, that such attempts have been unsuccessful for over half a century.




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