Israel: The Search for a New National Security Strategy

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

Israel’s National Security Institute believes that the national security strategy established by David Ben Gurion during the fifties of the past Century is no longer viable and it is incumbent upon Israel to draw up a new one to ensure the survival of the Zionist state. Western intelligence agencies led by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), apparently concur with this view. They believe that if things stay as they are now in the occupied Palestinian lands where the building or expansion of Jewish colonial settlements are booming, and in view of the ‘Arab Spring’ having been kidnapped by al-Qaeda that turned it into a Takfiri catastrophe which in time will be negating Israel and the United States as well, will lead to the demise of Israel as a political state in the Middle East within ten years, at most.

In 2006, Dan Meridor, Israel’s former deputy Prime Minister, presented a proposal to the ‘Defense’ minister of Israel at the time, Shaul Mofaz in which he requested the Ministry to design a new national security strategy. But Israel was extremely busy with its second war in Lebanon which ended with a begging for a cease fire. This has prompted the Strategic Research Institute in Israel to start convening gatherings of ‘defense’ experts to design a new national security strategy before the end of autumn of 2014. Such a strategy will take into consideration factors which brought forth radical regional and very important changes on the international level, especially in the United States of America.

Ben Gurion’s security strategy established for two principles; one was that the Israeli military should maintain superiority in armament with the latest technology over all the combined force of Arab armies facing Israel. The second was that every ‘terrorist action’ against Israel coming from any Arab bordering country should be met by a humongous military Israeli response with the intention of causing as many casualties as possible over any material losses. Furthermore, all Israeli preemptive wars against any Arab country should not exceed a week or two at the most to allow the Israeli reserve to return to their civil jobs.

With the changing developments and emerging facts in the Middle East, Ben Gurion’s strategy is no longer viable for many reasons. Rockets and various ordinances of missiles can now reach all cities in Israel affecting every Israeli who no longer has the luxury to watch his army waging destruction without worrying for his own life and safety. Secondly, the so-called Iron Dome is only effective against a few missiles, but not against thousands of the latest type hitting specific industrial targets in the depth of the state. Hezbollah, according to military intelligence reports, is sitting on at least 60 thousand of them, in addition to those stored by Hamas and other Palestinian organizations. Thirdly, al-Qaeda men are now active in Sinai and the Golan Heights, capable of launching missiles containing deadly chemicals and radioactive material whose recipes can be found on web sites and in manuals captured in Afghanistan by the American forces. Such facts may lead Israel to realize that its survival as a political state is in extreme peril if no peaceful and just political settlement is reached soon and quickly. A fourth notion is that the Israeli establishment has taken note that the Arab Armies deemed a threat in  Ben Gurion’s strategy are no longer in play, especially in Iraq, Syria and even Egypt. Groups, such as Hizbollah, are now taking a front line position, yet the most deadly is al-Qaeda with its Takfiri doctrine seeking death that takes with it the biggest number possible of its enemies. More, Israel must also be taking note of the present precarious position of the United States as the only superpower in our world, as well as of a radical change involving Jews around the world who no longer offer unconditional support for every Israeli action.

The Israeli political establishment is facing increasing condemnations coming from various European countries against its policies in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as the rise of China as a superpower allied with Russia, India and Brazil and their effects economically and politically on the Middle East region. Such a power structure combined with the European condemnations are creating an anti-Israel environment which in the end may render the Zionist state more like the apartheid regime of South Africa which ended up in the political dump of history.

While Israel seeks to maintain hold of the Jordan Valley (Ghor) region, and recognition as a Jewish state totally rejected by Palestinians, a group of influential Israeli businessmen, alerted to the changing conditions in the region, joined by former Israeli ambassadors called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “not to let go of the opportunity to attain a peaceful settlement” with the Palestinian Authority. The group warned that “the threats of boycott and sanctions against Israel are facts all over the world and he must treat the framework plan of the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, as an opportunity which should not be lost”. They pointed to the recent report by the Financial Times of London which revealed the dire danger faced by Israeli banks of being boycotted by mega financial European funds because they are financing new colonies/ ”settlements” on the Palestinian land. Indeed, Israel’s bid for a strategy will have to deal with new risks and threats.