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Threat of Israel's Regional Isolation and Imperatives for the Future

Col Rajeev Agarwal is a former Research Fellow at IDSA and a research analyst on West Asia. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • IDSA Occasional Paper No. 33
    2014

    Surrounded by hostile neighbours, Israel has been overly conscious of its national security interests, a concern which has shaped its regional strategy right from its birth in 1948. Having fought three major wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973, the peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 was a welcome break from the hostilities. Israel, thereafter attempted reconciliation through the decade of 1990s through Oslo Accords, Peace treaty with Jordan and withdrawal from Lebanon in year 2000. Its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, despite opposition at home, was a bold step. The results of the withdrawal were however, not what Israel would have wanted. A resurgent Hamas in Gaza, war with Lebanon in 2006 and breaking off with Turkey in 2010 were some of the events which set Israel back. The ‘Arab Spring’ too did no favours to Israel. Israel has therefore once again started looking at region through the prism of “peace through security”. It needs to evolve a dynamic regional strategy in tune with the changing regional dynamics or else could end up being more isolated in the region.

    About the Author

    Colonel Rajeev Agarwal was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in June 1990 and has had varied operational and service experience for over 24 years. He has also been a military observer with the United Nations in DRC and holds a Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University.

    His published work include “Security in the Gulf Region: India’s Concerns, Vulnerabilities, Interests and Engagement Options” in Rumel Dahiya (ed) Developments in the Gulf Region: Prospects and Challenges For India in the Next Two Decades, Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2013.‘Arab Spring’ and Democracy: Possibility or an Elusive Idea, Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, Vol 8, No.4, October to December 2013. Monograph on “Turkey and its Quest for Leadership Role in the West Asian Region, IDSA Monograph Series No.32, January 2014. “US Pivot to the Asia Pacific: Impact and Implications for West Asia” (Co-authored) in S D Muni and Vivek Chadha (ed), Asian Strategic Review 2014: US Pivot and Asian Security, Pentagon Press Press New Delhi 2014.

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