By Ted Belman
You may recall that in 1996 Bibi Netanyahu asked Richard Perle to come up with a “New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. The strategy document that resulted was entitled “A Clean Break” It was in that document that the neocons rcommended bringing down Hussein. As a result the left argues that the neocons got the US to invade Iraq to help Israel.
Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studiesâ€™ “Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000.” The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.
Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israelâ€™s socialist institutionsâ€”which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, “New Middle East”â€”undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous governmentâ€™s “peace process.” That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical massâ€” including a palpable sense of national exhaustionâ€”and forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was illustrated best by Israelâ€™s efforts to draw in the United States to sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in buses.
Benjamin Netanyahuâ€™s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nationâ€™s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can: