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The wasted decade: Israel’s policies towards the Occupied Territories 1967-1977

By R.S. Ranta

Abstract

This thesis aims to provide a detailed historical narrative of Israel’s relationship with the Occupied Territories between the years 1967 and 1977, using the most up-to-date archival material. The central argument of the thesis is that successive Israeli governments lacked a coherent and comprehensive long-term policy towards the Occupied Territories; it is the contention of this thesis that there is no documentary evidence to support the common belief that successive Israeli governments had a comprehensive long-term territorial policy. It is true that successive Israeli governments made decisions based on several long-term plans and approaches, such as the Allon Plan and the Functional Solution, but, when put into context and viewed as a whole, these decisions were neither coherent nor comprehensive and in any case were never formally adopted by the government. In trying to explain why successive governments failed to put forward a coherent and comprehensive long-term policy, four major contributing factors have been identified: the faction-based politics of the Labour Party, the US position vis-à-vis Israel, New Zionism and the intention of successive Prime Ministers to avoid formulating a clear long-term policy. The need to maintain unity, and avoid a split amongst the factions, ensured that the Labour Party was unable and unwilling to take a clear and unequivocal stand on the issue of the Occupied Territories; the US diplomatic stance vis-à-vis Israel exacerbated existing divisions, while strengthening the positions of those who argued in favour of avoiding taking clear decisions on the Occupied Territories; the rise of New Zionism changed the dynamics and landscape of the Israeli political system in a way that weakened Mapai’s, and later the Labour Party’s, ability to dictate territorial policy; lastly, successive Prime Ministers (Eshkol, Meir and Rabin) made clear choices against the formulation of a coherent and comprehensive long-term policy

Publisher: UCL (University College London)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.ucl.ac.uk.OAI2:19038
Provided by: UCL Discovery

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