Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Faulty Assumptions Generally Foretell Faulty Conclusions

From the Reut Insitute…

“Head of Israel's security service Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, warned yesterday that Israel may have to launch a large-scale military action in Gaza in the near future (Haaretz, 11/15/06).

[Our publication] emphasizes the tension between Israel's military logic and its national security.

According to Israel's military logic, only through military presence in Gaza is it possible to contain the firing of Qassam rockets and the build-up of Palestinian terrorism. However, Israel's national security requires the ending of its control over the Palestinian population in order to maintain its Jewish and democratic identity.

Israel's present policy is first and foremost based upon its military logic. However due to several emerging trends, these policies may cause Israel to renew its responsibility over the Palestinian population and undermine its national security.”


What’s the assumption underlying the Reut Institute’s publication? It is this: that Israel can be any two of the following three, but never all three: (1) a democracy, (2) a Jewish state, and/or (3) a country composed of all of historic Israel—whatever it is that historic Israel is defined to include.

But what if their assumption is faulty? What if agreeing to live inside diminished borders isn’t Israel’s “only reasonable choice?" What if it is a dangerous, and perhaps fatal, choice?

Here’s my point: The first assumption underlying any policy decision must NOT take for granted what the only Jewish majority State CANNOT BE. Any assumption underlying all policy decisions must promote Israel’s long-term viability in all respects—a successful, thriving State that can meaningfully participate in the community of Nations, and help foster the betterment of humanity.

We must not accept the logical conclusions of any analysis which takes for granted that the focus of the international debate—how to implement a two state solution within the confines of Israel and the territories—will never change. The terms of the debate are not written in stone. They are the current faulty assumptions underlying many people’s perceptions of how to promote peace.

Together we must change the terms of the debate.

--David Naggar

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