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Israel 2020: 2 scenarios for the future Scenario 1: Towards the end of the State of Israel / Scenario 2: Towards a durable Israeli state

Continuing its in-depth analysis of the consequences of the end of the world order which had been the legacy of WWII, LEAP/E2020 started several months ago a strategic reflexion on the future of Israel. In this number 7 of the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin, our teams present the two major options which, according to our work, are offered to the Israelis as the future of their country byn the year 2020. The summer 2006 Lebanese-Israeli crisis has indeed made it possible to identify more precisely the parameters which from now on will define the regional equation of the Middle East.

The development of the two scenarios thus integrates the often radical transformation of seven strategic parameters. Each of the two scenarios is then a result of the type of answers given by the main players involved to the modifications of their strategic environment. The first presents the consequences (in the radically new environment which emerged from the crisis of the summer 2006) of the continuation for another decade of the policy adopted by Israel since the middle of the Nineties. The second explores the potential of a radical rupture of the Israeli policy from that followed these past few years, in order to adapt to the new constraints weighing on the Middle East.

Seven structural assumptions:

  1. The initiating forces are now extinct: The creation of the State of Israel is the fruit of two main tendencies immediate after WWII, which are now in the process of extinction – if not already completely extinct yet -, firstly, the general feeling in the western world of guilt towards the genocide of the Jewish people perpetrated by the Nazis; and secondly, the colonial model. The first tendency, which is quickly weakening because of the growing temporal distance with its founding event, was a key factor in the creation of the State of Israel which for the West was an attempt to compensate for the atrocities committed in Europe against the Jewish people during the years 1930-1945. The second tendency, which practically disappeared after decolonization, basically influenced the choice of the place of creation of the State of Israel since it allowed “to cut out a piece of land” from territories that were run by Europeans using a colonial mode.
  2. End of the period of military “dominance”: The historical period of Israel’s “domination” over its close environment in the Middle East has ended with the Israeli-Lebanese crisis of the summer 2006. This period had started with the Israeli victory in the Kippur War in 1973 and relied in particular on two assumptions which are now null and void: the invincibility of the Israeli army and the omnipotence of the American Ally. The incapacity of the Israeli army to achieve the goals it had itself laid down when starting the conflict of summer 2006, as well as the ability of Hezbollah to efficiently oppose this Israeli army, has placed the Israeli power back to a certain regional normality. The incapacity of the American Ally to intervene militarily in the conflict, or to block the UNO resolutions calling for an early interruption of the Israeli offensive, have demonstrated the significant weakening of the United States in the area. This situation contributes even more strongly to the weakening of the concept of a “dominating” Israel since this was strongly linked to the feeling of total support from an American power, being itself irresistible…

Read more in the GEAB No 7 / 16.09.2006

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