A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Van Creveld: Israel Doesn't Need the West Bank to be Secure

The distinguished Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld, writing in the Daily Forward, argues that "Israel Doesn't Need the West Bank to Be Secure." Everyone pontificating about how the 1967 borders are impossible should read it. And note that he's an Israeli and a military historian with an international reputation. Thanks to The Arabist for pointing this out.


ih said...

Martin van Creveld lets his political views color his claims.

Pre 67 lines leave Israel expose to attacks with little territory to fall back to, very close to major population centers.

Israel needs at least parts of it for its security.

David Mack said...

It all depends on what replaces Israeli forces on the West Bank. A demilitarized Palestine with both UN observers and, at least for a very long transitional period, an international force along the Jordan River and at other key points is what we should expect. This would be far better for Israeli security than having a soon to be majority hostile population within its de facto borders and other hostile forces within missile reach. Military strategists like Martin van Crevald, to say nothing of the late Yitzhak Rabin and Defense minister Barak, have long known that the strategic "high ground" of the Golan Heights and the West Bank was an obsolete concept in an age when technology and terrorism were making borders increasingly porous. The arguments for mutually agreed land swaps, which I accept, are a matter of practical politics, not military necessity.

ih said...

This link says it better than me :


David Mack said...

Thanks to IH for the link. It's a clearly argued position, even if I don't agree with lots of it. Quite an improvement over the panderfests at the US Congress and in the pages of the US media.