Perlmutter, Amos
September 1982
Foreign Affairs;Fall1982, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p67
Academic Journal
The article discusses the military and political consequences of the Israeli incursion and partition of Lebanon on world politics and international relations. If one looks long enough at recent events, in Lebanon, one can see emerging the new face of Israel's Begin government, a face markedly different from the first government of Menachem Begin. That first Begin government, which toppled a decaying and increasingly ineffectual Labor Party, had its moderate and restraining elements whose crowning achievement was the Camp David Accords. The then Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, along with Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, were the reins on Begin's often frightening rhetoric, steering Begin away from the effects of his worst instincts. The Israeli nation is really tired of war, as is evident in some of the doubts that emerged during the Lebanon war. And a resolution of the conflict in Lebanon would be another way for Syria, the moderate Arabs, and the Gulf states to buy security against Iran. Peace, in fact, is the hidden light beneath the rubble that the Israelis, Syrians, and the PLO have left in Lebanon. It would indeed be ironic if Begin's rhetoric, carried out to the extreme by the tactics of Sharon in order to solve the Palestinian problem, resulted in a peace which had been encouraged by U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. One suspects that is not what either Begin or Sharon perceived when they launched "Operation Peace for Galilee."


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