Meir Javedanfar: On Ariel Sharon’s legacy and Israel’s national strategy

Today I had the privilege of being interviewed by Al Jazeera America alongside great Middle East experts and astute observers such as Alon Pinkas, Steven A. Cook, Hussein Ibish, Matt Duss, Aaron David Miller and others .

The question which was asked was:

What is Ariel Sharon’s legacy in terms of how Israel deals with questions of territory, war and security, and peace and diplomacy?

 My reply:

“Sharon’s legacy is the idea that Israel has to be militarily strong and it has to show its enemies that it will defend itself with all its might, if and when it has to do so.

At the same time, when it comes to some challenges, especially when it comes to the Palestinian issue, having a strong army will not be enough. When it comes to occupying someone else’s land to provide security for your citizens, less is more. In fact, occupation of someone else’s land makes you more insecure, and the argument that settlements provide security for Israel is nonsense, because houses full of Israeli women and children in occupied territories are never meant to be used as shields. So how can they provide security?

I hope Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu follows his example and withdraws from the occupied territories as part of a peace deal with the PLO. It’s time for Israel’s politicians to be brave, and not just its 18-year-old soldiers.”

You can read the rest of the interviews here. I highly recommend this collection of interviews.

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