Book

Zion's Dilemmas

Charles D. Freilich

Published by Cornell University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780801451041
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780801465741
Zion's Dilemmas

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This book details the history and, in many cases, the chronic inadequacies in the making of Israel's national security policy. It identifies profound, ongoing problems ascribed to a series of factors: a hostile and highly volatile regional environment, Israel's proportional representation electoral system, and structural peculiarities of the Israeli government and bureaucracy. The book presents a first of its kind model of national security decision-making in Israel. It analyzes the major events of the last thirty years, from Camp David I to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, through Camp David II, the Gaza Disengagement Plan of 2005, and the second Lebanon war of 2006. It identifies opportunities foregone, failures that resulted from a flawed decision-making process, and the entanglement of Israeli leaders in an inconsistent, highly politicized, and sometimes improvisational planning process. The book claims that the cabinet is dysfunctional and Israel does not have an effective statutory forum for its decision-making, most of which is conducted in informal settings. In many cases policy objectives and options are poorly formulated. However, the Israeli decision-making process does have some strengths: the ability to make rapid and flexible responses, generally pragmatic decision-making, effective planning within the defense establishment, and the skills and motivation of those involved. The book concludes with recommendations for reform.

Keywords: national security policy; proportional representation; Israel; Camp David I; Camp David II; Gaza Disengagement Plan; Lebanon war; national security decision-making

Book.  560 pages. 

Subjects: International Relations

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Zion's Dilemmas

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Constraints and Players in Zion's Dilemmas

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The Decision-Making Process in Zion's Dilemmas

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The Makings of a Young Lion in Zion's Dilemmas

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The Invasion of Lebanon, 1982 in Zion's Dilemmas

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Leaving Lebanon in Zion's Dilemmas

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Camp David II in Zion's Dilemmas

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Disengaging from Gaza, 2005 in Zion's Dilemmas

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Back Again in Zion's Dilemmas

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