ISRAEL'S FATEFUL HOUR by Yehoshafat Harkabi


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A surprising analysis promoting a complete Israeli change of position in the continual Arab-Israeli tug-of-war, by Harkabi (International Relations and Middle East Studies/Hebrew Univ.), former chief of Israel's military intelligence and author of Arab Strategies and Israeli Response, among others. Harkabi outlines what for him is a considerable turnabout. Having once pleaded that Arab intransigence and hostility were so rooted as to preclude Israeli moderation, the author now argues that clinging to the status quo will be suicidal for Israel and that an apparent shift by the Arabs toward negotiation and moderation (e.g., Sadat's initiatives and the Jordanian-P.L.O. 1985 agreement on the principle of ""land for peace"") opens the door for a substantive peace in the area. Harkabi contends that time is running out for Israel and that its alternatives are no longer between ""good and bad but between bad and worse"" (i.e., either accede to a Palestinian state or else police an increasingly militant Arab population in a Greater Israel--a population that within another generation may well be near a majority). Harkabi's technique here is to analyze in turn the Arab and Israeli positions, particularly in relation to their evolution since the 1967 war, two decades that have seen a near reversal of both sides' positions, The author also ably describes some of the tensions within the PLO, and the warring mind-sets of Israel's Labor Zionists and Revisionists. Harkabi originally published this book in Israel in 1986, and it has stoked much controversy there. Recent Palestinian uprisings in Israel demonstrate the lucidity of his analysis, one which will probably spark interest on this side of the world as well.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1988
Publisher: Harper & Row