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Gareth I. Hanna Herzog. Article information. Article Information Volume: 43 issue: 2, page s : Gregory M. Maney Department of Sociology, Hofstra University. Abstract Abstract. Sign Out. Email required Password required Remember me Forgotten your password? Need to activate? Institutional Access does not have access to this content. Open Athens. Purchase Content 24 hours online access to download content.

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Rent Article. Your Access Options. Forgotten your password? Article available in:. Vol 43, Issue 2, Courtney Jung and more Unionism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. Christopher Farrington. The British Journal of Politics and International Crossref Sara McDowell and more Political Geography Nov Cookies Notification This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more. Tips on citation download. Security Concerns: Insights from the Israeli Experience. Google Scholar. Bloomfield, David , London : Palgrave Macmillan. Livingstone , Them and Us? Attitudinal Variation Among Churchgoers in Belfast. Because of the relative weakness of the PLO and of Arafat within it, this represents a dangerous choice.

As shown by the real threat of Palestinian civil war in Gaza, it is a choice which puts the peace process at risk and which means that even a "successful" outcome is one likely to be marked by antagonism, violence, illegitimacy and irredentism. Rabin's decision to respond to short-term rather than long-term threats is particularly noteworthy and unfortunate because the balance of power and opinion within the Israeli political class, especially within the military, puts his government in a position to absorb substantially greater political risks than it has shown itself willing to incur.

This analysis can be substantiated by comparing the constraints and opportunities bearing upon the Israeli government in to those which faced British Prime Minister Asquith in , when he attempted unsuccessfully to implement Home Rule for all of Ireland, and to those facing Charles de Gaulle from to , as he confronted settler, right-wing and military opposition to his policy of independence for Algeria.

First, however, the basis for making this comparison must be established. Even without the devoted efforts of Israeli annexationists, the sheer inertia of Israel's year rule over the West Bank and Gaza Strip would have made disengaging from them a challenging political task. But a fervently annexationist camp including the Likud, the National Religious party, Gush Emunim, and fundamentalist or ultranationalist groups such as Tehiya, Tzomet, Kach and Moledet did arise in Israel and has waged an energetic, expensive and sustained struggle to bind these territories so tightly to Israel that disengagement would be impossible.

In the context of a Zionist movement which had never reached agreement on the acceptability of excluding any part of the Land of Israel from Jewish statehood, and remembering the historically central role which the mountainous regions of "Judea and Samaria" played in the ancient Jewish kingdoms, it would have been amazing if this effort to build the territories captured in the War into the Jewish state had not substantially reduced the ability of any Israeli government to dispose of them.

Prominent elements of this campaign in the first years of the occupation included rearranging the legal system so that Israelis could live in the territories without being subjected to military authority or Jordanian law, opening Israel up to infusions of cheap Palestinian labor, maintaining the territories as "export markets" for Israeli consumer goods, and strictly proscribing all political activity by Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza. Within the greatly expanded municipality of Jerusalem, large Jewish neighborhoods rapidly expanded, accompanied in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a whole by a scattering of approximately 15, settlers.

Before , however, the annexationist intent of these policies was masked by substantial support within the Labor party for territorial compromise and by Dayan's own ambivalence.

While he believed it was necessary to "create facts" that would prevent any non-Israeli state from taking effective political control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he did not want to officially rule out Israeli withdrawal from the areas. To do so would have removed the rationale for Arabs under his rule to avoid political activity, hoping that their own prudence and help from the outside would somehow, someday bring an end to the occupation. Nor did Dayan wish to absorb Arabs living in the territories by making them Israeli citizens.

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The result of Dayan's ambivalence, his clout within the Labor party, and the hawkishness of Labor's main coalition partner, the National Religious party, was a policy of "deciding not to decide. From to the Likud and its annexationist allies controlled successive Israeli governments.

Apart from , when Shimon Peres was prime minister in a Labor-Likud coalition, these governments pursued, as their central and overriding objective, the permanent absorption of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Both Begin and Shamir knew that most Israelis did not share their view of the cardinal importance of Jewish sovereignty over the whole Land of Israel and that the time was not ripe to actually implement sovereign claims. The actual political objective of settlement and other annexation-oriented policies was to create conditions wherein future Israeli leaders who might want to withdraw from the territories and who might have the legal right to do so would be dissuaded from trying by the scale of the political upheaval they might imagine could result from decisive movement toward withdrawal.

Labor governments had rejected negotiating initiatives by West Bank notables in the late s, King Hussein in and Henry Kissinger in because of a fear of unravelling the Labor party or the coalitions it headed. The Likud's ambition, however, was to create so tight and pervasive a set of connections between Israel and the territories that any future government wishing to withdraw would not only face losing its coalition majority, but also feel itself having to risk riots in the streets, challenges to the legitimacy and authority of the regime, and even violent clashes among Jews over the "betrayal" of Zionism.

This kind of change is best thought of in terms of a threshold. The crossing of this threshold makes reversal of the policy an order of magnitude more difficult than it would have been had the threshold not been crossed. I call this point the "regime threshold," when the scale of expected dislocation changes from fluctuations in the identity of incumbents or the complexion of governing coalitions to include threats to the authority and stability of the rules governing political competition. The regime threshold is the point at which elites contemplating a change in policy no longer make calculations only about the wisdom of the changes or the consequences of the new policy for their careers or for the health of their parties and their governing coalition.

The regime threshold has been crossed when to those considerations are added calculations about the effect of policy options on the integrity of the institutional order which regulates political competition and establishes the authoritativeness of "legal" decisions. Once both incumbent-level and regime-level factors are in play, policies under consideration have become an order of magnitude more difficult to change.

Solving a problem which has been embedded in the body politic at the level of the regime requires "re-scaling" it, stripping it of its regime threatening characteristics before proceeding with the implementation of actual policy. In Israel with respect to the future of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the regime threshold was crossed in Indeed Yitzhak Rabin's Labor government in the mids was the last Israeli Cabinet, oriented toward territorial compromise, that could contemplate such policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip without calculating their implications for the stability and legitimacy of the legal-political order.

The next Labor prime minister was Shimon Peres, who headed the first Labor-Likud national unity government from to As with Rabin ten years earlier, Peres's efforts to achieve a land-for-peace deal with Jordan and the Palestinians were hamstrung by the incumbent-level difficulties of securing a supportive majority of Knesset members. But when, in , Peres's efforts did appear to be making progress, public debate and private calculation expanded to reflect the fact that a winning coalition within the Knesset could no longer be considered sufficient to justify or sustain such a policy.

It became clear that threats of illegal and violent challenges to the legitimacy of governmental authority would also have to be mastered. This substantial shift toward the incorporation of the territories into the State of Israel was the direct result of policies of de-facto annexation pursued by the first and second Likud governments, in partnership with its extra-governmental allies, especially Gush Emunim.

They did not achieve this objective. By the mids, however, their efforts had had a substantial enough demographic, cultural, psychological and political impact to push the problem of withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza Strip beyond the regime threshold. The effects of having passed this regime threshold were most dramatically evident in the political crisis of when the Likud Labor "unity" government broke up and for several months neither Shimon Peres's Labor nor Yitzhak Shamir's Likud was able to form a government.

The country was wracked by unprecedentedly bitter disputes over the viability of the electoral system, the potential for catastrophe that each side claimed would attend formation of a narrow government by the other, proliferating assassination threats, controversy over whether the army would follow orders from a Likud government to ''crush the intifada," etc.

After months of uncertainty and political strife, Yitzhak Shamir managed to exploit fears by Rabbi Eliezer Shach, spiritual leader of two small ultra-orthodox parties, that the peace policies of a Labor government would lead to civil war. Shach's decision to oppose Labor-party efforts to form a government led directly to Shamir's formation of a narrow, far-right government-the government that ruled Israel until the June elections brought Yitzhak Rabin to power.

As a result of the elections, the most hawkish government in Israel's history was suddenly replaced by the most dovish government in its history. A clear majority of Knesset deputies affiliated with parties belonging to the new governing coalition favored not only a relatively generous land-for-peace settlement but were also willing to enter into direct negotiations with the PLO toward that objective.

Yet the concrete proposals Rabin offered Palestinian negotiators during most of his first year in office did not differ fundamentally from those put forward by the Likud government. This policy represented a clear preference for avoiding even minor risks of settler and right-wing resistance and a hope that by the time substantive concessions would be necessary a wider base of support within Israel would have emerged to help carry out a territorial compromise.

By the spring and summer of it was apparent, even to Rabin, that the burden his strategy was placing on the Palestinian negotiators was much too heavy for them to bear; that if any movement toward a settlement were to be achieved, it would have to involve direct talks with the PLO, more substantive signs of Israeli commitment to Palestinian self-determination, and somewhat greater risks of a showdown with right-wing Israeli opposition. Rabin's opening to the PLO shows he understood this, but his continued emphasis on deferring all "ultimate status" issues for up to five years, his refusal to move any of the Jewish settle ments in the territories, and his vehement refusal to discuss the fate of East Jerusalem, all reflect his continued preference for what I call "serial decomposition," a salami-slicing strategy for coping with the Is raeli right.

Why the Irish Support Palestine

This is a technique for crossing back through the regime threshold toward disengagement that accomplishes the transition by dividing up the troublesome problem temporally over many years rather than spatially e. In the Israeli case, serial decomposition entails a more or less complete withdrawal from the territories while obfuscating its completeness by deceitful, disingenuous characterizations of the policy's intent. Rabin's policy of adhering to a long "interim" period postpones the necessity to make formal decisions about sovereignty for at least five years.

Rabin's obvious intent is to deprive the right-wing-religious-settler coalition of a strategic opportunity to mobilize its full strength against the "amputation" of the homeland. The PLO has had to explain to its constituency that despite Israeli pronouncements about East Jerusalem and its continued closure to West Bank Arabs, despite the extremely limited forms of self-government contemplated, and despite the slow and elaborately paced mechanisms for implementing the IDF's "redeployment," Palestinians should have faith in their leadership and in the ultimately satisfying outcome of the process.

Opposition tactics are likely to be many and varied:. This kind of semi-legal or illegal mobilization is feared both for its own sake and because an agreement enforced against such opposition might leave permanent scars on Israeli politics, weakening the integrity of its parliamentary system.

Hundreds of thousands of Jewish protestors are ready, it is said, to physically prevent the evacuation of settlements or the arrival of Arafat in Jerusalem. Unless it is prepared to use the coercive power of the state against large numbers of Jews, the government knows that it is liable to be exposed as unable to enforce its legal decisions. Rabin's serial-decomposition strategy for minimizing the risks of severe disruption within Israel requires he Palestinians, and particularly Palestinian moderates, to carry most of the burden of this long and uncertain process.

This point was vividly illustrated by Rabin's reaction to the Hebron massacre in late February In the face of intense right-wing opposition, including rabbinical calls to soldiers to disobey orders and riots by hundreds of settlers and their supporters in Hebron, Rabin backed away from proposals to evacuate Jewish settlers from the center of the city.