Are the Israelis Ready for Peace with the Arabs?

Are the Israelis Ready for Peace with the Arabs?
Prepared By: Prof. Hilal Khashan
American University of Beirut



Conventional wisdom has it that Arab publics continue to view with aversion the prospect of peace with the Hebrew state. Empirical evidence suggests that the majority of those who approve of peace tend to express a nonchalant attitude toward it. ([1]) Even though it does not take much effort to come to grips with the underlying factors that obviously cause Arab publics to be wary about peace in the Middle East (such as arrogant Israeli politicians, expansionist ideological doctrine inherent in Zionism, and an unyielding negotiation posture), Israeli peace intentions have not yet come under scrutiny. For years Zionist media propagandists succeeded in presenting Israel as a democratic and peace-loving nation threatened in its very existence by belligerent Arab states, whom it portrayed as bent on throwing the Jews into the Mediterranean. Rhetorically-minded Arab leaders (especially prior to the 1967 Six-Day war), preoccupied with political legitimacy, expediently raised anti-Israeli bellicose slogans, ones that they could not realistically implement. Similarly, broad sectors of Arab media, mostly state-controlled, busied themselves in predicting the eventual collapse of the Jewish state and the reinstatement of the Palestinian refugees to their usurped homeland.

In this atmosphere of Arab reticence to openly engage in peace talks with Israel, the latter appeared--in the eyes of the international community--as a reasonable state beleaguered by hardline Arab neighbors. Even in the aftermath of Israel’s stunning victory in 1967, Arab leaders continued in their adamantine refrainment from talking peace with Israel which occupied Sinai, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the strategic Golan Heights. The communique summarizing the decisions of the Arab summit in Khartoum, held in the summer of 1967 to deal with the consequences of the Six-Day War, announced the three famous noes (no peace, no recognition, no negotiations with Israel). It took another war to eventually get the antagonists to unleash a painfully slow-paced peace process, first with Egypt, and much later on with other Arab states neighboring the Jewish state. The October War of 1973 made Camp David Agreements possible between Egypt and Israel; yet, it took the Desert Storm of 1991 to unleash a peace process that produced Oslo Agreements and Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel. Nevertheless, the peace talks failed to resolve the final status issues between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, nor could they achieve a breakthrough on the Golan Heights.

This paper advances the proposition that the Israelis are in no way ready for peace with Arabs. Even though Israelis frequently talk about the need for achieving peace with neighboring Arab countries, their deeds do not seem to match their verbal utterances. In order to verify the stated proposition, this study seeks to generate evidence by looking at (1) the nature of Zionism, (2) the pertinent features of the Israeli culture, (3) the Jewish state’s obsession with security,  (4) the religious awakening of broad sectors of its population, (5) the new world order, and (6) the limited effectiveness of Israel’s peace movement.

Methodologically, the paper draws heavily on Jewish and Israeli sources and, when absolutely necessary, on Arab references to reinforce points established by reference to the pertinent literature as proposed by pro-Israeli authors. The issues dealt with in the paper  in order to examine the extent of Israelis’ readiness for peace with Arabs also emanate from the mainstream literature as suggested by scholarly sources, newspapers and internet sources. Documentation is emphasized for the sake of maintaining balance in analytical presentation.


Zionism as an Obstacle to Peace

Theodor Herzl saw the Jewish problem in terms of distinct Jewish nationalism.He argued that the Jews would continue to be persecuted as long as they continued to live with other national groups. The solution lay, he continued, in creating a Jewish homeland, preferably in Palestine. Three important events prompted Herzl to diligently pursue the option of creating a Jewish homeland to put an end to their jeopardy in Europe. These were:

Eastern European Pogroms: Jews in Eastern Europe were coerced to live  in what was termed as the Pale Of Settlement, an area including parts of Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland and Byelorussia. Starting in 1881, Jews in the Pale of Settlement were subjected to frequent massacres (known as pogroms) apparently sponsored by governments wishing to resolve rampant unemployment by getting rid of Jews.

The Dreyfus Affair: In 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the only Jewish officer in the French military headquarters, was falsely accused of espionage on behalf of Germany. A French military tribunal found him guilty and sentenced him to a long term on Devil’s Island. Even though he was later acquitted, French Jews began to rethink their status in that country in which they had previously thought they were safe.

Anti-Semitism: Prejudice against Jews took a new dimension in Europe, especially in Germany, where toward the end of the nineteenth century it assumed a "scientific" doctrine. According to "scientific" anti-Semitism Jews were labeled as a different racial group that ought to be governed by a special racial law. All types of interracial interactions, especially marriage, were deemed corrupting, hence they were banned.

Immediately after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration Jewish immigration to Palestine intensified, thereby inviting repeated clashes with the indigenous Arab population. In the 1930s militant Jews gave rise to a new version of Zionism that became known as revisionist. Its founder, Vladimir Jabotinsky advocated the use of violence against the British, whom he felt stood as an obstacle in the way of creating the Jewish state in Palestine. To of his followers, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, became prime ministers and leaders of the Likud party which rose to prominence in Israeli politics in 1977.

Zionism, whose tenets were based on the forceful settlement of Palestine eventually triumphed in 1948 when the state of Israel came into existence. By virtue of its formulation, Zionism is a dynamic movement that must, at all times, locate an external enemy in order to maintain the cohesion and solidarity of the Zionists. Zionist leaders believe that the maintenance of the Jewish state requires the perpetuation of some sort of tension with her Arab neighbors, even in the event of peace. This brings to the forefront the salience of security in the Zionist ideology; safeguarding the country’s security perpetuates the conflict, preferably in a low-intensity form.


Israeli Culture

Culture represents a set of values of a people shaped by their historical experience, skills, and aspirations. Foremost, is the Jews’ conviction of the presence of a special bond between them and God. S. N. Eisenstadt writes about the development of a special

... relationship between God and the tribes of Israel, the people of Israel; of the covenant with God as being the central focus of the tribal confederation; of the very construction of the Israeli tribes as a specific, distinct nation, as God’s chosen people. This covenant between God and the people of Israel established a semi-contractual relation between them... [which] made the people of Israel not just a passive object of God’s will, but also an active, responsible agent in shaping its destiny, one who was responsible before God, but who seemingly could also make demands on God ([2]) .

This perception of the relationship between Jews and God did not prevent, it probably aggravated, Jewish turbulent history of expulsions and condemnation to life in ghettos in Eastern and Central Europe. ([3]) Eastern and Central European Jewry experienced an intellectual revolution in the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century when they were allowed to enter the universities and join the professions. But the catastrophic results of the Holocaust, perpetrated against European Jewry by Nazi Germany, reportedly annihilated six million Jews and severely traumatized Jewish collective consciousness like no other historical experience on record. The outcome has been a well-endowed Jewish individual, yet one at war with himself and the rest of the world, especially his immediate Arab neighbors whose land he conquered, but failed to break their resolve to resist.

In a fascinating study, Raymond Cohen describes the modern Israeli individual, the product of complex and less than fortunate historical interactions, in charged terms:

Out of wrecked empires and death camps, a motley collection of idealists and survivors gathered to establish an old-new land in the twentieth century. Though they aspired to a clean break with the past, much cultural package was carried forward: the collective memories and defense mechanisms of history’s victims; a fiercely disputatious and democratic political system... an abrasive society of patriotic individualists, moved not by shame  but by guilt, the internalized dictates of conscience. Language is "low context," bereft of circumlocutions, indirect allusions, and status consciousness. An unadorned, straightforward, blunt style of speech, deliberately negligent of the interlocuter’s "face," is preferred.([4])

The emerging Israeli personality developed an obsession with security and immense distrust with outsiders, namely Arabs. Israeli ethnocentrism developed deep-seated antipathy toward Arabs, one that was nurtured, according to Maxime Rodinson, by a primitive explanation of Arab personality as fanatic and anti-Semitic. ([5]) Needless to say, Israelis demeanor is hardly contributive to the presentation of a communicative peace negotiator. Instead, it produces a bickering, a polemical and an infinitely attentive to details negotiator. In attestation of this, Abba Eban, Israel’s celebrated representative at the U.N. during the 1967 war demanded that Arabs immerse themselves in Jewish history and acquaint themselves with their psychological make-up. In a television interview during his tenure in the foreign ministry he expressed his apprehensions and stated his demands: "I am afraid that our Arab neighbors underestimate the passion, the depth, the utter authenticity of our people’s roots in the life of the Middle East. The first thing that one would have to secure would be an understanding by the Arabs of the nature of Israel’s history." ([6]).


Security Concerns

A state has legitimate security concerns that must be addressed to ensure political stability and effective governance. Every state has the right, in fact the obligation, to seek its security to to maintain it. But we have in the Jewish state a singular example of polity that takes the issue of security to unprecedented levels. One would agree that, in view of their historical legacy, Israeli Jews may require additional security requirements. Israelis, however, have made of security a creed and an end in itself, much detached from any real world exigency.

Israel is the Middle East’s superpower. Its arsenal includes hundreds of nuclear warheads, the world’s most sophisticated military equipment, it has a formidable army and a superb air force. It operates one of the world’s most capable intelligence services, buttressed by satellite capability and possession of a high technology information system.Israel simply has no military competitors in the Middle East, not even remotely. yet, it displays paranoid security concerns, probably beyond obsession. Security concerns have delayed the conclusion of Camp David agreements with Egypt, precluded agreement with Syria and in combination with other factors, defeated the drive toward peace with the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s preoccupation with security makes the attainment of peace with its Arab neighbors an arduous, practically impossible job. Sammy Michael, an Israeli poet born in Iraq, perceptibly recognizes the appearingly insurmountable problems that forbid peace in the Middle East, security-related among others, and laments the continuation of the historic conflict. He believes that the enmity between the two peoples ought to go on unabated. He suggests that

... humanism and understanding are weak forces indeed in this mythic was of collective memories. Neither side is capable of stepping over the line that divides them and embracing the other.... In Israeli fiction dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict and its implications, there is little if any satisfaction with military victory, nor indeed is there much satisfaction of any kind. ([7])

The Six-Day war only gave the Israeli public a brief security respite. Two weeks after the Israeli victory hostilities started at the Suez Canal front and the Fateh movement fighters began to launch attacks inside Egypt proper. Even though Israeli losses were not serious, anxiety predominated the domestic scene once again.

It is anomalous that Israel insists on comprehensive security arrangements with its Arab neighbors that involve snatching parts of their lands. She expects them to go along unquestioningly with her wishes, yet she reveals utter intolerance to casualties resulting from their refusal to return occupied land. Edward Said brilliantly describes this malaise which "means a certain blindness or inability to see what it is and what has been happening to it and, just as remarkably, an unwillingness to understand what it has meant for others in the world, and especially in the Middle East." ([8])

In negotiating peace with the Syrians, Israel insisted on placing ground surveillance posts inside Syrian territory. The Syrians argued that these posts would be redundant since spy satellites would do the job of monitoring Syrian military movements. Here the Israelis and their influential Zionist lobby in the U.S. incongruously lashed at modern technology. Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America took issue with modern technology. He speciously complained that

One cannot replace the security provided by the Golan Heights, which cannot breakdown. Imagine if Israel gave the Golan Heights to Syria and had to rely on computer-controlled satellites to monitor Syrian troop movements. Suppose the computers broke down--as can happen to any computer, at any time--and Israel was left ‘nearly blind for a few days’... While Israel was working on fixing the computers, Syrian tanks could advance, undetected, across the Golan Heights and into northern Israel. ([9])

Aside from the frequent sophist’s argumentation which punctuate Zionist argumentation, Israelis do indeed express genuine security concern, even if they are not warranted by reality. During the 1967 crisis in the Middle East, which eventually led to the Six-Day war, the late Egyptian President Gamal ‘Abdul Nasser sent his army to Sinai, closed the Tiran Passes to Israeli navigation into the Red Sea, and threatened to destroy the Jewish state. ([10]) Abba Eban, who must have known that the balance of military power was decisively to Israel’s advantage, talked by his gloom on the eve of the war. He wrote a psychologically revealing statement in his autobiography:

In Greek tragedy the chorus would at least express consternation about events which it was powerless to affect. Here we could not even hope for a mild expression of concern. Israel was being told in the plainest possible terms not to expect any assistance or even moral support from the United Nations. ([11])

Many Israelis feared that Nasser was preparing another Holocaust. Some Israelis preferred to describe Israel’s triumph in the Six-day War as "the holocaust that did not happen." ([12])

In the name of security, Israelis conveniently shrug off Arab negotiators’ basic legitimate requirements for peace, be they motivated by inexplicable fear or driven by dynamic Zionist zeal, as threatening to the survival of the Hebrew state. It is perplexingly frustrating that Israeli voters, many of whom had previously voted for Ehud Barak in the name of peace have, in February 2001, replaced him by Ariel Sharon, an infamous personality, signaling a desire to reverse its process. This incongruous turnabout came as a reaction to the intifada of young Palestinian stone-throwers, many of whom in their preteen years. Reacting to the election of Sharon as the Hebrew state’s chief executive, Elliot Abrams congratulated the Israelis on their choice.  He described the new Prime Minister, an impulsive army general and a known war criminal, as "a leader who all along knew, and said, that the road to peace lies through strength instead of weakness and firmness rather than unilateral concessions... and for this he has been rewarded with a landslide electoral victory." ([13])

Israelis have extended the slogan of national security, in addition to clinging to occupied Arab land, to mean environmental security, food security and water security. In keeping with their obsession with security, almost "any political question in Israel is overridden by even the smallest security consideration." ([14]) Andrew Killgore describes Israel’s security obsession as a case of misplaced paranoia, tracing it to the core values of political Zionism which described anti-Semitism as an incurable disease. ([15]) Jewish inherent distrust of outsiders "translated itself into a fanatical Israeli obsession with security... [It] became a God before which all must bow." ([16]) Thus, even from the early days of Jewish settlement in Palestine, Jewish settlers tended to equate Palestinian Arabs with with anti-Jewish Europeans. Utopian Zionists played upon  entrenched Jewish intergroup distrust to further the creation and consolidation of an anachronous state concept. It is against this backdrop that Israel seeks to promote peace with her Arab neighbors.


Religious Awakening and Messianic Nationalism

While attending a peace rally in Tel Aviv on 4 November 1995, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a young Israeli religious extremist. This event jolted Israelis and underscored the split in Israeli society between the secularists and the fundamentalists. It also pointed to the fact that Israel - be it ruled by Labor, Likud, or a national unity government - lacks the will or the conviction to make a substantial move in the direction of peace with Arabs. In trying to comprehend the Jewish state’s peace dilemma, it is important to examine the implications of the Six-Day War, a watershed in the currently polar formation of Israeli society.

The Six-Day War revived Revisionist Zionist ideology, delivered a severe blow to Labor’s secular-socialist brand of nationalism, and gave an instant impetus to Israel’s religious right as a significant part of labor’s constituency began to shift to Likud and other rightist groups.([17]) Jabotinsky’s exhortation of Jews to reclaim  ‘by blood and iron’ the ancient kingdom of Israel (Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel) appealed to a broad cross section of Israeli Jews.([18]) Thus ceding land occupied during the Six-Day War became unacceptable to the new revisionists, religious parties and even some secularists. A new culture inspired by messianic nationalism began to take shape in Israeli society; one of its themes was never again to allow the partitioning the land of Israel.([19]) As society began to spiritualize, the state’s civil religion underwent thorough changes.([20]) The Labor Zionists during the Yishuv period (Jewish settlement in Palestine before the formation of the state of Israel in 1948) disavowed tradition and did not heed by religious symbols. After 1948, the Labor governments of Israel attempted to strike a balance between the country’s secular and religious groupings, even though Judaism did not assume centrality in the Israeli policy.

Israel’s new conservative mood after the Six-Day War gave Israel’s civil religion a strong religious tone. It was Menachem Begin, the Likud leader who became Prime Minister in 1977, that gave shape to Israel’s Judaic civil religion. In an address to the Israeli people explaining for them the reasons why he rejected U.S. Ronald Reagan’s 1982 peace plan, which fell short of advocating Palestinian statehood, he spoke messianically:

I feel that our forefathers stand beside me in this battle: Bar Kochba and Maccabee warriors, and all our ancestors who shed their blood for Eretz Yisrael. Yes, I am waging the war for Eretz Yisrael. At my side stand Herzl, Jabotinsky and Nordau, Berl Katznelson and Tabenkin, all participants in the war for Eretz Yisrael.... I feel contentment, exaltation and faith, [and] a sense of mission....

The new messianic mood in Israel, sanctioned by the rise of Likud to power ushered in a vigorous settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Jewish settlers from groups such as Zo Artzeinu (this is our land) occupied West Bank hilltops; Yechiel Leiter, operating from the U.S., led the One Israel movement and raised funds to accelerate the building of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories Israel has confiscated at least half of the available 1.5 million acres in the West bank since its occupation in 1967, mostly for constructing illegal settlements, many of which dispose their untreated sewage on Palestinian land. Israel’s settlement policy, a concrete manifestation of the revival of Revisionist Zionism and its Eretz Yisrael ramification, mightily discredits the Jewish state’s claim to commitment to peace. Consider, for example, the following excerpt on Israel’s policy to create the conditions for Palestinians to emigrate from the West Bank:

Israel implemented draconian regulations and military orders that severely restrict Palestinian movement between cities and which affect Palestinian quality of life at the most basic level. These include deportation, unequal allowances on water usage, building permits and the availability of essential services. Daily life is interrupted by numerous army checkpoints, which harass the population and make travel uncertain. All this in the name of security, but with the real nefarious design, confirmed by Israeli historians as state policy, to encourage Palestinians to leave. Currently, there are 300,000 Jewish settlers, about 70,000 of them moved in since the start of the Oslo peace process.

Israeli hardliners’ determination to seize the land of the West bank in its entirety explains why in 1993, then Knesset member Sharon put the effects of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles  on the future of the Jewish state on a par with the Holocaust. Naturally, one would expect Sharon, in his capacity as Prime Minister, to disclaim any peace that involves ceding further occupied territory. Sharon has said on a number of occasions that he would nullify the Oslo Accords and opt instead for interim peace accords without a timetable.

One of the major tributaries of Israel’s messianic nationalism has been Gush Emunim (bloc of the faithful), which came into being in 1974, just a few months after the October when Israel received a military setback in the initial stages of the war. Gush Emunim  articulates the belief that Israel was saved from defeat only by Divine intervention.Thus, Israelis need to be more determined than ever to hold on to the territorial gains they made during the Six-Day War. For Gush the claim that any group other than Jews has rights in the Holy Land is inconceivable, therefore inadmissible. In view of this, Gush denies the Palestinians from the right to self-determination and advocates, instead, offering them financial incentives to leave "Eretz Yisrael.


The New World Order

The disbanding of the Soviet Union by the end of 1991 introduced, probably for the first time in man’s recorded history, an international arena in which there was only one major power. The Second Gulf war for the reinstatement of Kuwait’s independence was the first war to be waged under the new rule of a unipolar world system. The disastrous consequences for Iraq which  continue to unfold day by day attest to the dangers inherent in a world system controlled by one hegemon. For the first time since the beginning of the Cold War in the late 1940s, the U.S. found itself without enemies in the Middle East. This new situation had the effect of deglobalizing Middle Eastern problems, namely the Arab-Israeli conflict. Camp David Agreement took place in the shadow of U.S.. vs. Soviet competition in the region and their scramble to gain allies. This explains why the U.S. chose to take an instrumental role in brokering the agreement which involved, among other things, a sizable package of U.S.economic aid to  Egypt and Israel.

Even though Washington arranged for convening the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1991, its view focused on the need for the regional antagonists to resolve their conflict through direct negotiations in the absence of active U.S. involvement and without American economic incentives. Middle Eastern issues have simply become low-intensity conflicts that do not threaten a global conflagration, hence the absence of any motivation for the U.S. to use its valuable credit with Israel to promote what it sees as a thankless job.

Given the fact Israel realizes that the balance of power in the region tilts decisively in her favor, she sees no need for concluding peace deals that involve significant territorial concessions. After all, Israel’s military preponderance assures its ruling elite that Arab armies would not risk launching calamitous wars for their countries should Israel refrain from forthcomingness on the issue of ceding land to Arabs. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the lack of peace breakthrough in the region is a function of Israel’ s military supremacy.


Limp Peace Movement

Israel’s Peace Movement came into being in 1977 following Egyptian Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem. A group of 350 Israeli reserve officers, including some of the Hebrew state’s finest, wrote an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin in which they protested against the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. The signatories said "that they preferred a smaller Israel at peace with its neighbours to a ‘Greater Israel’ at permanent war... [arguing that the] real strength of the Israeli army grows out of the citizenry-soldiers’ identification with state policy" (28)  Israeli rightists denounced the officers as traitors but thousands of people demonstrated in support of the open letter. The chain of events led to the emergence of Israel’s Peace Now Movement.

Peace Now has failed because it lacked, from its inception, an implemental program of action. The movement accepts the basic tenets of Zionism,which uphold territorial expansion, an ideological contradiction that inherently weakens the movement, depriving her of clarity of perspective. To punctuate the movement’s weakness, more than 20 years since its appearance, public opinion polls show that two-thirds of Israelis approve of the idea of expelling all Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza provided Israel were not made to pay for her deed by the international community. Israeli Knesset member and leader of the radical Moledet party, whose plank explicitly advocates all Arabs from the Territories, welcomed the public opinion results. He commented that "the Israelis have realized that it is impossible to live in a country with two nationalities. The solution for that is separation, or deportation."

The most daring view expressed by Peace Now was calling on Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Barak to recognize the principle of Palestinian right of return, with the understanding that only a token number of them would be repatriated in Israel. The statement stressed that no Israeli citizen would be forced to give up their residence or property should the proposal be implemented. One of the main limitations of Israel’s Peace Now movement is that it appeared at a time when the religious right began its ascendancy amid unabated regional tensions.First Palestinian guerrilla activity intensified between 1967 and 1982. The October War broke out in 1973 and shook Israel’s security confidence to its very foundation.Then came the first intifada and the firing of Iraqi Scud missiles on Israeli cities during the Second Gulf War.

The Peace Now movement which to a considerable degree echoes the policy preferences of the secular Labor supports a resolution to the Palestinian issue that is reminiscent of apartheid. Its advocacy of the principle of territorial concessions aims essentially at segregating Palestinians and Jews; obviously for the sole purpose of maintaining the Jewishness of the Hebrew state. In fact, Peace Now is not what it purports to be. It certainly is not interested in fostering ties of togetherness between Arabs and Jews beyond ensuring the well-being of the state of Israel.



By depending on sheer military might to block peace with its Arab neighbors, Israel commits itself to self-destructive policies. Her ostentatious display of brute power does not augur well for the cause of peace between Arabs and Israelis. Israel’s strategic shortsightedness brings to mind the ghetto mentality and the Massada complex, two prime examples of destructive behavior. A nation’s collective memory usually improves her decision making capability by drawing on past experiences and learning to avoid mistakes, especially deadly ones,  to better achieve national objectives. Unfortunately, Israelis continue to behave as a chosen people whose demands need not be questioned, neither by the international community nor by their neighbors. It is unclear whether most Israelis seem to realize that the present period offers them a unique opportunity for achieving peace. It is equally unclear whether they are willing to invest in developing peace, so tat it may eventually establish roots.


[1] For a detailed account of arab public opinion on peace with wish Israel, see hilal khashan, partner of pariah? Attitudes toward Israel in Syrian, Lebanon, and Jordan (Washington, d.c: winep, 1996); and hilal khashan, “arab attitudes towerd Israel on the eve of the new millennium, “the journal of social, political and economic studies, vol. 25, no. 2, 2000, pp. 131-229.

[2]  S.n. eisenstadt, the transformation of Israel society: an essay in interpretation (London; weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985), pp.12-3.

[3] The canon of the third lateran council of 1179 forbade Christians and jews from residing in the same neighborhoods. Ghettos appeared in 1516 when the venetian republic sergregated the jews in a separate quarter called the ghetto nuovo, or new foundry.

[4] Raymond cohen, “negotiations across the Golan heights: culture gets in the way, “middle east quaerterly, vol. 1, no. 3, 1994, p.46.

[5] Maxime rodinson, cult, ghetto and state: the persistence of the jewish question, translated from the franch by jon Rothschild (London: saqi books), p. 221.

[6] Israel in the world: two television interviewa with abba eban (south Brunswick, n.j.: Thomas yoseloff, 1966), p. 29.

[7] In gila ramras-rauch, the arab in Israeli literature (Bloomington, i.n.: Indiana university press, 1989), p. 179.

[8] Al-ahram weekly, 12 february 2001.

[9] News editor, “breakdown of u.s. spy salellites highlights risks to Israel if it tries to replace Golan with technology,” at /pressre1/20000413b.htm

[10] Nasser did not actually intend to go to war against Israel. He sought to politically capitalize on false reports about an imminent Israeli attack against Syria, for more on the dynamics of the events leading to the six-day war, see Richard b.parker, the politics of miscalculation in the middle wast (Bloomington, i.n.: Indiana university press, 1993).

[11] Abba eban, an autobiography (new York: random house, 1977), p.379.

[12] In jay gonen, a psycho history of zionsim (new York: mason, chapter, 1975), p. 166).

[13] Elliott Abrams, “in good faith,” at: /story/66/story-6634-3.html

[14]Jad Isaac, “core issues of the Palestinian-asraeli water dispute,” in /pub/corissues/

[15] Andrew I, killgore, “barriers to peace: israel’s security obsession,” at backissues/090985/850909001.htm

[16] Ibid

[17]  Ziva flamhaaft, Israel on the road to peace: accepting the unacceptable (boulder, c.o.: westview press, 1996), pp. 137-8.

[18] Rodinson, cult, ghetto, and state, p. 227.

[19] Flamhaaft, Israel on the road to peace, pp. 136-7.

[20] The concept of civil religion pertains to the invocation of religious rituals, symbols,